The city of Spokane plans to spend an extra $1 million to repair arterial streets damaged by this year’s cold, wet winter.
The funding adds 11 projects to an already busy construction season, nearly doubling the amount the city had planned to spend on arterial maintenance, said Marlene Feist, a city spokeswoman. Six other projects that were previously planned total $1.2 million.
Three “less critical” projects totaling $300,000 have been postponed, Mayor David Condon said at a news conference Thursday morning.
“As you all know, the weather has been very hard on our streets and caused an extreme amount of damage over the last nine months or so,” said Gary Kaesemeyer, the city’s streets director. “We picked new projects based mostly on what we heard from the community. The North Side was hit the hardest with the damage, and you’ll see most of our work happening on North Side arterials.”
The money comes from the city’s arterial streets fund, which can be used for both maintenance and capital projects. Feist said the city can fund the additional maintenance because it received a number of grants and lower-than-expected construction bids.
“For example, we got a big grant for our construction on Sprague that we weren’t necessarily counting on, and that freed up our budget a little bit,” she said.
Crews have been rebuilding Sprague Avenue between Stone and Helena streets at a cost of $3.8 million. Other major projects include reconstruction of 37th Avenue between Freya and Regal streets, the extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and landscape improvements along Division Street.
The new work, which the city has dubbed “Fix-It-Fest 2017,” includes three grind-and-overlay projects, three chip-seal projects and two patch-repair projects to smooth out driving lanes. Sections of Sharp Avenue, Sunset Boulevard and Thor/Freya Street will get thin overlays to hold them together ahead of planned reconstruction in 2018.
In all, the new work covers more than 8.8 miles of arterial streets. That doesn’t include $3 million in maintenance planned on residential streets.
The city says nearly 3,500 potholes have been filled since Jan. 1. Crews filled 3,045 last year and 2,728 in 2015.
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