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Tuesday, September 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Getting There: Spokane airport work will send planes over South Hill

Residents living on the South Hill of Spokane may be hearing a little more jet noise for the next several weeks.

Spokane International Airport is closing its main runway, which runs from northeast to southwest, so that a contractor can complete renovation of taxiways.

That means air traffic will be routed onto the second runway, which runs east and west.

Aircraft will have to fly over the upper South Hill for takeoffs or landings, depending on the direction of the wind.

The runway alignment, if extended, puts aircraft overhead between 37th and 41st avenues.

The airport in the past has received complaints from residents about jet noise.

Larry Krauter, CEO at the airport, in an electronic message to Spokane County commissioners, said he was notifying residents so they won’t be surprised by the change in flight patterns.

Three new taxiways will be tied into the main runway, but the work falls within a runway safety area.

Krauter said in his message that closing the runway only at night would be inefficient and full closure around the clock is needed.

He said the main runway should reopen July 15.

The airport is undertaking a multiyear project to improve runways, including last year’s installation of high-speed exits for landings, which allow aircraft to move more quickly to terminal gates.

Work on taxiways began in 2013. The first phase came under a $12 million contract. The final phase was approved last year under a $7.8 million contract. Most of the work is being financed through the federal airport improvement program.

In addition to the taxiway work, Krauter said other maintenance items are scheduled, including repainting markers, upgrading electrical lines, joint sealing, mowing and cleaning edge lights.

The main runway was closed for three weeks in September as part of the project.

Meeting on U.S. 195

The public is invited to learn more about an upcoming renovation project on the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 195 through the Latah Creek Valley from Interstate 90 to Excelsior Road.

An informational meeting is set for Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5810 S. Meadowlane Road.

The highway has older concrete panels for pavement that were installed in two phases in 1955 and 1969. Many of the panels are cracked or broken.

Renovation of the pavement is expected to start July 6.

More than 650 concrete panels will be replaced. Another 190 will be partially replaced. And 120 panels will be lifted and stabilized with grout. Cracks in the remaining panels will be sealed.

The last step will involve grinding the panels for a smoother surface. Ruts caused by studded tire wear will be removed.

Three other projects are taking place this year on U.S. 195 from Spokane to Pullman. Tuesday’s meeting will include information on all of the projects.

Work is underway to repave U.S. 195 from Babbitt Road to the south end of Pullman. Delays of up to 20 minutes are possible. Traffic will be allowed through the work zone in single-file, alternating lines directed by pilot vehicles.

For more information, go to

Aerospace scholars

Five high school students from the Spokane area have been selected for a Washington Aerospace Scholars summer residency program this year.

They are Molly McCormick, Faith Baptist Academy High School; Megan Paternoster, Freeman High School; Ross Morrison, Mount Spokane High School; and Nita Mittelstadt-Rush and Kendall Woodard, Gonzaga Prep.

They are among 100 students who qualified for the program and will earn five college credits.

During the residency, they will collaborate to design a human mission to Mars with guidance from scientists, university students and educators.

The goal of the program is to get students moving toward careers in math, science and engineering.

The residency in July will be at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Delays on I-90

Rock blasting closures on Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass are planned for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for about an hour. Rock is being cleared as part of a widening of the freeway along Keechelus Lake.

Slowdowns are expected during daytime hours.

Also, delays are possible at the Vantage Bridge over the Columbia River due to painting work.

Sullivan webcam

Spokane Valley has set up a Web camera so residents can follow the demolition of the aging southbound bridge on Sullivan Road over the Spokane River.

The bridge is being replaced after an inspection in 2009 found it to be structurally deficient.

To follow progress, go to

Also in Spokane Valley, Broadway Avenue will be limited to one lane for westbound traffic from Fancher Road to Havana Street through late June.

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