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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Traffic light in works for crossing at Kendall Yards

A cycling family leaving Kendall Yards waits on traffic before crossing the north end of the Monroe Street Bridge at Summit Parkway on Thursday. (Dan Pelle)
A cycling family leaving Kendall Yards waits on traffic before crossing the north end of the Monroe Street Bridge at Summit Parkway on Thursday. (Dan Pelle)

A potentially dangerous intersection in Spokane is about to get a new traffic light.

Development of Kendall Yards on the north bank of the Spokane River is bringing an increase in vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic to Monroe Street and Summit Parkway.

Last week’s sunny, mild weather brought out hundreds of people who wanted to gaze at the thundering Spokane Falls, and larger numbers of pedestrians were using the intersection to cross the street at the north end of the Monroe Street Bridge.

Greenstone Corp., the developer of Kendall Yards, is paying to design and install the signal. The city required it to mitigate for increased traffic caused by the residential and commercial complex.

The signal, which will include left-turn lights, should cost about $500,000 or more, said Inga Note, senior Spokane traffic planning engineer.

Jim Frank, CEO of Greenstone Corp., said his design team is working quickly to get the project finalized by the city so that construction can begin as soon as possible.

“We think there is a definite need for it,” he said of the traffic light.

Note said she thinks construction of the new signal will be completed sometime this summer.

As it stands, motorists trying to use the intersection for left-hand turns are finding the going tough, she said.

When the city closed the southbound lane on the Post Street Bridge, it diverted that traffic coming off of Lincoln Street onto Summit Parkway, then left onto Monroe to cross the bridge there.

“It’s really a difficult turn to make at some times of day,” she said.

The intersection is also adjacent to a key bus stop, which is another draw for pedestrian traffic in the area.

The Centennial Trail provides an underpass at the north end of the bridge, but pedestrians are finding that crossing Monroe is often the shorter route for getting to and from Kendall Yards on foot.

ITD honored for Sand Creek Byway

Sandpoint’s Sand Creek Byway project was recently recognized for the careful unearthing done to recover archaeological history prior to construction.

The Idaho Transportation Department was given an award of merit by the Society for Historical Archaeology for the project.

The society said the archaeology project “has provided the basis for a detailed narrative of life in the small western town of Sandpoint and a rich comparative database for exploring broader social and economic transformations in the West.”

The project formally got underway in 2006, but momentum for the effort dates to the early 1990s, ITD said in a news release last week.

Among items recovered was a Chinese coin from an area historically occupied by immigrant workers.

Softer roads mean weight restrictions

Mild February weather has led to weight restrictions on many Spokane County roads to prevent damage while road beds are soft from thawing.

Roads that have the restrictions are posted with weight limits.

The limits normally don’t apply to passenger vehicles.

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