As trucks zoomed across the new asphalt, Spokane Valley city officials gathered to cut the ribbon and celebrate the completion of the Barker Road project.
Barker road, formerly a rural county road, was widened over about four months to have a lane in each direction and a turn lane.
“Believe me, it’s a whole bunch different than the county road it used to be,” Spokane Valley Mayor Rod Higgins said.
Higgins said the $2.35 million road widening project will make it more welcoming, and much easier for the many new businesses he anticipates will move to the area.
“Without improvements on Barker Road, we can’t grow this area, and this area promises to be the next growth explosion,” he said.
Over the summer and early fall, crews widened the road, added curbs, gutters and stormwater facilities. Spokane County also paid for sewer infrastructure.
He said the road will now be able to handle heavier, industrial vehicles and traffic that comes down from Highway 290, especially once the two other improvements, Garland Avenue and the Barker Road grade separation project are complete.
Higgins was one of several Spokane Valley City Council members who gathered to celebration the project’s completion, including Councilwomen Brandi Peetz and Linda Thompson and Councilman Ben Wick.
Next summer, Spokane Valley hopes to start the next stage of improvements. The $3 million cost for the Garland Avenue project will be split between Centennial Properties, a subsidiary of Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review, and the city of Spokane Valley.
The railroad bridge planned to cross Barker Road near where it intersects with Trent is estimated to cost $19 million and construction is planned for next summer. That project also includes a roundabout North of the Trent and Barker Road intersection.
Barker Road, a significant route for freight and local traffic, connects Trent Avenue to Interstate 90 and also feeds into the proposed railroad bridge over Barker Road that will replace a railroad crossing near Trent Avenue. The project includes a roundabout 200 feet from the Trent Avenue and Barker Road intersection.
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