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

Traffic lights will come back to Lincoln and Monroe soon

FILE - Downtown road construction at Sprague Avenue and Monroe Street in downtown Spokane on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. The city is now seeking an additional $250,000 above the original contract cost to pay for unexpected costs, including additional paving and traffic control, that would bring the total bill for the two-year downtown paving project to $3.6 million. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

Traffic signals on Monroe and Lincoln streets downtown are about to be switched on, signaling the end of the 2016 construction season.

City officials on Monday said the lights at six key intersections will be turned on later this week or next week.

The lights are already operating with flashing red signals.

Workers have mostly completed a remake of the streets and underground utilities, including intersections at Riverside, Sprague and First avenues in the $3 million project.

Final paving will have to wait for warmer weather next spring after workers ran out of time to finish the job this fall.

Mayor David Condon on Monday said businesses hurt by the construction downtown are hoping residents return to their locations to dine, shop and do business.

The Downtown Spokane Partnership issued a press release congratulating business owners on their patience during the work.

“Unique local retailers who have navigated the challenging waters of managing construction impacts while also continuing to provide top notch customer service and unique experiences include Runners Soul, Nodland Cellars, Tamarack Public House, the Sapphire Lounge, Brooklyn Deli and the other unique entertainment, retail and restaurants along First Ave.,” the DSP said in a news release.

The Monroe and Lincoln project from Main to Second Avenue has brought new sidewalks, crosswalks and street lighting along with a rebuild of underground structures and lines.

In addition to the Monroe and Lincoln project, the downtown also had a $500,000 remake of Wall Street next to the new Urban Outfitters store from Main to Spokane Falls Boulevard.

Also, several blocks of West Main Avenue from Bernard to Pine streets have new angle parking to create more slots for shoppers and diners in a $200,000 project.

Citywide, nearly $74 million was spent on street and utility projects in 2016.

Construction downtown will continue in 2017 with two stormwater tank projects.

The city expects to spend $80 million in 2017, with a share of that cost coming from state and federal grants.

And work to extend Martin Luther King Jr. Way through the University District will continue.

Construction will begin on the University District Gateway Bridge for pedestrians and bicycles. That bridge will cross BNSF Railway lines on the south side of the campus.

A remake of Sprague Avenue from Helena to Stone streets is also planned.

New sidewalks and other street amenities are planned on Division Street downtown next year.

Once that work is completed, the state will embark on repaving of Division, Ruby and Browne streets.