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

Spokane airport rated tops for terminal access and parking

Spokane International Airport has earned a top ranking among small hub airports for its accessibility to the terminal and convenience of parking.

The ranking, announced last week, came through an interactive study conducted by Phoenix Marketing International, a marketing firm, based on more than a half-million responses from travelers over the past year.

Spokane beat Bellingham in the category for “getting to the airport.”

Of passengers who responded to the survey, 93.6 percent said they were satisfied with their Spokane airport “getting-to” experience.

As for parking, Spokane beat the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, airport with 91.6 percent of respondents saying they were satisfied with parking at Spokane.

Larry Krauter, the CEO for Spokane airports, said the ranking validates the airport’s ongoing efforts to create a customer-friendly travel experience.

The airport offers a range of options for outgoing and incoming flights, including curb drop-offs and pickups and short-term parking next to the terminals.

Travelers have a number of choices for on-site parking, including a convenient shuttle lot served by a van.

“That easy-in, easy-out concept is what is popping in these surveys,” Krauter said.

A cellphone parking lot on the inbound leg of Airport Drive is another addition that makes travel through the airport easier. Drivers can wait for free in the lot and proceed to the terminal once an arriving passenger calls to be picked up.

Taxi service was reorganized to create a taxi queue near the terminal doors.

“We are really focused on the customer service at the curb,” Krauter said.

He also said he thinks airport facilities need to be clean. Last week, he had a crew do a deep cleaning of the main parking garages, which offer a free courtesy car wash.

McDonald Road upgrade begins

In Spokane Valley, a project to improve McDonald Road from Mission to 16th avenues gets started Monday.

The roadway closes Monday and will stay closed through Sept. 2. Access to businesses will be maintained.

The job involves repaving the roadway and restriping it to carry a single lane of traffic in each direction with a center turn lane and bicycle lanes on both sides.

Stormwater drainage, curb ramps and traffic signal modifications are part of the project.

Spokane projects

In north Spokane, reconstruction of Rowan Avenue from Driscoll Boulevard to Monroe Street is finished. That stretch of roadway is set to open Monday following the $2.7 million project.

Elsewhere in the city, work continues on Monroe and Lincoln streets in the downtown area and on the lower South Hill.

On the South Hill, Monroe is set to reopen to southbound traffic on Tuesday from Fourth to Eighth avenues.

Lincoln Street will close Monday evening for six weeks.

Work continues on both Monroe and Lincoln from Main to Second avenues. Traffic is moving slowly on both streets between Main and Second avenues. Four-way stops are in place during the work.

Rock excavation is underway for the long-planned extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way near the BNSF Railway main line and Union Gospel Mission.

The intersection of Main Avenue and Division Street remains under construction. One lane on Division is closed, creating some slowdowns. All businesses remain open. Pedestrian detours are in place.

Repaving of Hatch Road south of 57th Avenue continues. The segment at the lower part of the hill will be closed through Friday.

The extension of Ben Burr Trail at Third Avenue and Arthur Street and at Second Avenue and Perry Street is underway.

Residential repaving is underway on Garfield, Madison, Lee, Cannon and Arthur streets.

Thirty-seventh Avenue from Regal to Custer streets is closed for a combination of street work and stormwater facilities.

Ione, Medical Lake events Saturday

State highway officials are reminding drivers to be careful on Saturday near Ione and Medical Lake.

Ione is having its community celebration and Medical Lake is having a fun run.

Snoqualmie blasting Wednesday night

Rock blasting for widening of Interstate 90 on the east side of Snoqualmie Pass will force an hourlong closure of the freeway at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

I-90 restrictions

The construction of a new westbound off-ramp for Interstate 90 at Freya Street is well underway with major earthmoving operations. Lane restrictions on westbound I-90 may be in place during nighttime hours.

On Wednesday, the I-90 eastbound off-ramp at U.S. Highway 195 (Pullman Highway) will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for guardrail upgrades.

The eastbound off-ramp on I-90 at Hamilton Street will be reduced to a single lane through Wednesday for pavement repairs.

Hawthorne Road remains closed to the east and west of Division Street for a Spokane County road and utility project.

Tree removal on U.S. 195 between Hatch and Excelsior roads could result in lane restrictions.

Mt. Spokane Parkway remains closed at the state park gate for road construction. Condo residents are still allowed through the construction.

Cuba flights to begin in Seattle

Alaska Airlines has been awarded one of the 20 slots for service to Havana.

The flight will go directly from Los Angeles to Havana, but the plane will originate in Seattle.

Seattle passengers will stay in their seats at Los Angeles International Airport.

General tourism is still not permitted. Travelers have to have an approved purpose such as family visit, education, journalism, arts projects or humanitarian projects.

Alaska is waiting for a final order from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Alaska said it hopes to start the service later this year.

Idaho board to meet

In North Idaho, work on the Blue Creek Bay Bridge on Interstate 90 was underway last week with drilling of anchor holes for the deck repair two years from now.

The Idaho Transportation Board is meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Coeur d’Alene. The board will confer with local officials.

The board will tour U.S. Highway 95 projects, Empire Airlines and Rathdrum on Wednesday, and meet at 8 a.m. Thursday at the District 1 office, 600 W. Prairie Ave.

During the meeting the board will recognize Boundary County, the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office and Idaho State Police in District 1 for zero traffic deaths in 2015.