A new multilane roundabout is now under construction on U.S. Highway 2 at Airway Heights.
It is one of two big projects getting underway in the Spokane area this week.
The other is a big paving job that will close a portion of Bigelow Gulch Road on Wednesday and Thursday.
In Airway Heights, work began last Thursday on the roundabout to serve traffic around the Spokane tribal casino just east of Craig Road.
Major work begins on Tuesday.
The state department of transportation has been increasingly using roundabouts rather than traffic lights. Howevern, this is a tribe-funded project.
The construction plan calls for restricting traffic to one lane eastbound, but continuing to allow two lanes westbound throughout the project.
The lane restrictions will be in place through completion of the project.
Drivers can expect slow traffic and congestion between the Fairchild Air Force main gate and Airway Heights, said Al Gilson, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
“Motorists with time-sensitive travel plans should consider adding extra time to drive through this area, especially during commute hours and shift changes at Fairchild Air Force Base,” Gilson said in a news release.
William Winkler Co. of Spokane is the contractor. The project is fully funded by the Spokane Tribe since it is intended to serve the casino and commercial development planned there.
On Bigelow Gulch Road, paving will start at 5 a.m. on Wednesday through 6 p.m. on Thursday from Argonne Road to Havana Street.
The project involves repaving of Bigelow from Weile Road to Palmer Road just east of Spokane’s city limits.
That stretch of road carries an average of 16,000 vehicles a day.
Local access for residents will be maintained, but with possible delays.
“The past two winters have been hard on this stretch of Bigelow that is known for its curves, overhanging trees…and yes, speeding motorists and traffic accidents,” said Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter in a news release.
The county spokeswoman said, “Repaving this part of the road is a maintenance project and not part of the Bigelow-Forker Urban Corridor” project.
On Division Street, paving will continue at night from Francis Avenue to the Division Y.
Repaving also is underway on Interstate 90 from Fishtrap to Sprague Lake.
New passing lanes are being installed on U.S. Highway 195 near Spangle. The project will build on passing lane in each direction.
Flaggers and pilot cars will guide alternating single lines of traffic through the construction zone during work hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Repaving is also being done on Trent Avenue from Mission Avenue to Sullivan Road. Paving is from 7 p.m. until about 6 a.m.
The state Highway 904 repaving job continues in the Cheney area.
In the city
In Spokane, work to rebuild 37th Avenue from Ray to Regal streets continues with a full closure to traffic.
Barnes Road remains closed from Strong Road to Phoebe Street for paving and other work.
Curb installations on Division and Browne from Spokane Falls Boulevard to Sprague Avenue has caused traffic congestion, which is going to continue.
The work is part of a comprehensive $3.5 million “gateway project” for the city.
New funds for Idaho runway
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., last week announced a $5.2 million federal transportation grant to realign the main runway at Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.
Expect delays for ‘totality’
The Idaho Transportation Department sent out an advisory last week warning drivers to be ready for heavy traffic and the possibility of delays and emergencies if going into the path of totality for next Monday’s total solar eclipse.
“Drivers should ensure their vehicles are in good working order. This includes getting the tire pressure checked, and making sure a vehicle’s battery, tires, headlights and brakes are in good working order,” ITD said in a news release.
“In addition, drivers should carry emergency flares or portable signs to alert other drivers of an emergency, extra food and water, extra clothing or blankets for cooler weather, a flashlight with fully charged batteries, a fully charged cell phone and a map of Idaho highways.”
It was also advised that drivers consider an Aug. 22 return.
In Spokane County, work continues on Market Street from Houston Avenue to Lincoln Road, which is open to traffic.
Monroe Street north of Francis is closed for construction.
Out at the Northern Quest Casino, blasting is planned on Hayford Road on Wednesday from 10 to 10:30 a.m.
In Spokane Valley, work continues on Euclid Avenue from Tschirley to Barker roads for road and sewer improvements.
In North Idaho, numerous construction projects are causing backups in the Coeur d’Alene area, including those on Interstate 90, Government Way, U.S. Highway 95 and Seltice Way.
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