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

Coeur d’Alene includes two roundabouts in Seltice Way project

A bicyclist rides along busy Seltice Way in 2014. A 3-mile reconstruction of the roadway will include dedicated bike lanes and two roundabouts. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Construction on a 3-mile revitalization of Seltice Way on the west end of Coeur d’Alene is expected to begin this year – and include not one, but two roundabouts.

“That is a culmination of a lot of public input,” said Coeur d’Alene city spokesman Sam Taylor. “We’re creating a corridor that could have in the future a ton more housing. Traffic signals and wider roads mean cars go faster. Roundabouts will slow traffic down more.”

The project originally included a two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Seltice Way and Atlas Road. During the well-attended public meetings, residents asked for a second roundabout at Seltice Way and Grand Mill Lane, Taylor said.

“This is a grand-scale revitalization project of Seltice Way,” he said. “This is not just a reconstruction of the road. It’s road improvements, it’s roundabouts, landscaping and artwork in the roundabouts.”

The stretch of road to be worked on is two lanes each way with a wide median in the middle. It will remain that way after reconstruction and construction crews will likely work on one side at a time, Taylor said.

Residents also asked for a shared-use path separate from the roadway, which the city has added to the project. The 10- to 12-foot-wide path will be separated from the road by 5 feet. The newly reconstructed road will also include bike lanes.

The road includes “a ton” of right of way and the city did not have to purchase any additional land for the project, Taylor said.

It wasn’t really a surprise to hear people embracing roundabouts, Taylor said, even the two-lane version not currently in use in the area. It’s a lot different than a decade ago when people were mostly adamantly opposed to roundabouts.

“Over time we’re hearing far less of that,” Taylor said. “Some of our roundabouts are 10, 15 years old now. People are starting to realize the value of them, not having to sit in traffic so long. They’re so efficient. I think people are really starting to warm up to them.”

The project will spill over into Post Falls, which is contributing toward the $6 million price tag. The Hayden Sewer District is also involved in the project. The city’s portion will be between $4.3 million and $4.5 million, and much of that is coming from Ignite CDA, the city’s urban renewal agency, Taylor said.

The project will go out to bid this week, and construction will start this spring. The roadwork is not expected to be complete until 2018.

Taylor said the city is working with the Idaho Transportation Department and other agencies to plan traffic flow that is as smooth as possible during construction and takes all the other road projects into account.

“We know it’s going to be stressful for folks these next two or three years,” he said.