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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

Suncrest to get flashing beacon for crosswalk

The Suncrest area is getting a new rapid flashing beacon for pedestrians on state Highway 291 at Swenson Road following requests from community members.

The new beacon is scheduled to be installed Thursday.

Students from nearby Lakeside High School frequently cross the highway at that location to reach a neighborhood grocery store.

Requests for lights came from both community members and school officials.

The lights are activated by pedestrians and will warn motorists to stop so they can cross.

The beacons use light-emitting diodes.

Sidewalk improvements, striping and electrical work were previously installed, state transportation officials said.

Earlier this month, a similar rapid flashing beacon signal went up on Hastings Road adjacent to Mead High School.

“Of course, users of the new system still need to be vigilant when crossing the highway. Although a person in the crosswalk has the right of way, inattentive drivers can still pose a hazard to an unsuspecting pedestrian,” said Al Gilson, state transportation spokesman, in a news release.

Chip sealing project on Idaho highway

Idaho state Highway 41 from Rathdrum to Oldtown is undergoing a chip sealing job starting Monday.

The pavement work during daytime hours is expected to last for one month.

Heavy truck traffic may be restricted. Motorcycle drivers should use extra caution.

The chip sealing follows work since June to add turn pockets at intersections, new signs and lighting and other safety improvements.

The $4.5 million job was funded through a state general fund surplus.

Poe Asphalt Paving Inc., of Clarkston, Washington, is the contractor.

The work is intended to protect the roadway surface and to provide better winter traction.

For the latest update on the project, go to Idaho Traveler Services at, or call 511 for the latest updates and road conditions in the area.

New roundabout

Construction of a new traffic roundabout at Wellesley Avenue and Freya Street begins Monday.

Halme Construction of Spokane is the contractor on the $2.1 million project.

The new roundabout east of Hillyard is part of the continuing construction for the North Spokane Corridor freeway.

Stop signs will be replaced by the roundabout and both streets will be widened to allow for more efficient travel, state transportation officials said.

Earlier this season, the city of Spokane installed new utility lines ahead of roundabout construction.

I-90 updates

On Interstate 90, a new westbound off-ramp at Freya Street is open to traffic. Second Avenue has reopened to traffic from Havana to Freya streets.

On I-90, maintenance work on pavement sensors will result in nighttime westbound lane closures on Monday through Thursday from Sprague Avenue to Argonne Road.

Another I-90 project may create lane restrictions and slow traffic on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Crews are sweeping the median.

To the southwest on I-90, work continues on bridge deck repairs at the overpass above the BNSF Railway mainline tracks at Sprague Lake and at Wahl Road 10 miles to the west.

State highway work

Elsewhere on state highways, lane restrictions are going to be in place Monday through Thursday on U.S. Highway 195 from I-90 to Paradise Road.

Crews are removing a buildup of old traction sand that has accumulated under the guardrail.

To the north of Spokane, a chip sealing job on U.S. Highway 2 from state Highway 211 to South Shore Road east of Diamond Lake will result in alternating single lines of traffic guided by pilot cars.

Also, crews will be restriping intersections and installing new signs at various intersections on U.S. 2 and 395 north of Spokane during evening and overnight hours.

Pilot cars will be used to guide alternating lines of traffic through the work zones.

Also, state Highway 20 from Narcisse to Spruce Canyon roads in Stevens County is getting a new layer of asphalt.

Vehicles will be guided by pilot cars in alternating lines.

On state Highway 27, crews will be installing curve warning signs from Oakesdale to Fairfield.

Palouse traffic

State transportation officials are warning that traffic on highways in the Palouse region will be congested on Sept. 3 due to a 5 p.m. football kickoff at Washington State University.

Around the Valley

In Spokane Valley, Park Road between Nora and Mission avenues will have narrowed lanes through August.

Mission between Park and Lilly roads will be closed through Friday.

Northbound McDonald Road from Mission to Sprague avenues is down to one lane.

UPS driver lauded

Roy Oki, who spent 40 years driving a UPS delivery truck in the Deer Park area, is retiring this fall with a remarkable record.

He’s never had an accident, not even a fender bender, involving his delivery truck during his time with the company, said Alex Roberts, a spokesman for UPS.

Oki, 66, who had a retirement ceremony earlier this month, is leaving as UPS’ safest driver in Washington.

Only 70 out of 102,000 active drivers for UPS around the world have such a good driving record, Roberts said.

Study looks at debris

The AAA Foundation learned in a new study that 200,000 crashes were caused by debris on U.S. roadways over the past four years, resulting in 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.

The study found that drivers trying to avoid debris were vulnerable to losing control and crashing.

Debris crashes were most prevalent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The AAA Foundation is urging drivers to secure their loads before venturing out.

Crashes involving debris have been on the increase since 2001, the foundation said.

Sober driving campaign underway

Washington’s annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign started over the weekend and will continue through Sept. 5.

Police and sheriff’s deputies are participating in the campaign to stop impaired driving as the summer driving season moves toward Labor Day.

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