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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

City starts sidewalk, curb upgrades to increase transit access

Transit riders in Spokane are going to benefit from a project this year to add sidewalks and handicapped-accessible curb ramps so they can get to their buses more easily.

In all, 139 curb ramps and 1,600 square yards of sidewalk, 75 square yards of pavement patching and other items are part of the work that has just gotten underway, Spokane city officials said.

The project is being financed through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration and is being coordinated through Spokane Transit Authority.

Bacon Concrete Inc., of Colbert, is the contractor. The cost of the project is $383,000.

Many of the locations receiving improvements are in lower-income areas with high bus ridership and older-style sidewalks and curbs.

The construction is occurring along Assembly Street from Broad to Sanson avenues; Boone Avenue from Chestnut to Elm streets; Sinto Avenue from Pearl to Cincinnati streets; and Haven Street from Joseph to Columbia avenues.

Also, 17th Avenue from Cook to Regal streets; Newark Avenue from Laura Street to Seventh Avenue; and Arthur Street from Newark to Celesta avenues.

Julie Happy, spokeswoman for the city, said the funding came from a federal New Freedoms Program grant that enables people with disabilities to get around town.

“We named it Connect to Transit as we work directly with STA to better interconnect our sidewalks to the transportation needs of this community,” Happy said in an email.

In recent years, the city has installed sidewalks and curb ramps near parks, schools and arterial streets.

High Drive closes Wednesday

Work has started on the second phase of improvements to High Drive, but the major traffic impacts will take place starting Wednesday when High Drive is closed to all but local traffic.

The city of Spokane has pooled street and utility funding to rebuild High Drive from Bernard Street to Grand Boulevard; add a sidewalk to the south side of the street; install bike lanes and build stormwater improvements.

Total cost is $5 million.

This is the second phase of work on High Drive. Last year’s work involved the section from 29th Avenue to Bernard Street.

Patrols focus on child safety

This year’s Click It or Ticket campaign over the Memorial Day period will put extra emphasis on proper use of child safety seats and restraints.

Law enforcement officers in Spokane, Whitman, Pend Oreille and Ferry counties will participate in the extra patrols that start today and continue through May 31.

Officers said using proper child restraints saves lives.

As proof, they said a Grant County sheriff’s deputy in 2013 stopped a motorist on a traffic violation and discovered two young children in the back seat who were not properly restrained. The deputy made the motorist correct the mistakes.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the motorist a short time later went off the road after falling asleep, struck a utility pole and vaulted over an intersecting roadway. The children were not injured.

The seat belt patrols are funded through the safety commission.

Pavement work at Mount Spokane Park

Starting today, the state transportation department is going to be starting a project to seal pavement cracks on Mount Spokane Park Drive from Bruce Road to the entrance to the state park. Traffic will be reduced to a single lane with flaggers directing alternating lines of traffic. The sealing work will be followed by installation of a chip seal coating.

Spokane Valley lane closures

In Spokane Valley, Sprague Avenue will have curb lane closures between Herald and Vista roads on Tuesday for work to preserve existing pavement.

Argonne Road at Knox Avenue will be reduced to two lanes in each direction through mid-June or later for reconstruction of the roadway. Also, new light poles are going up.

Road work, closures on Argonne

Also, Argonne Road will be reduced to a single lane in each direction from Upriver Drive to the Spokane River because of an upgrade to stormwater drywells there.