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

Getting There: Liberty Lake has projects queued up for construction season

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Construction cones will soon sprout like wildflowers in Liberty Lake as the city prepares for quite a few construction projects to improve access, repair roads and improve parks.

Perhaps the most visible project will be the construction of the Kramer Parkway overpass over Interstate 90 between Barker Road and Harvard Road. The overpass will extend Kramer Parkway to provide a key north-south route over the freeway. Currently, the only roads that connect the north and south sides of the freeway are Harvard and Barker, the latter of which is outside the city limits.

The new overpass, which is expected to be complete by late fall, will connect to Mission Avenue to the north and Country Vista Drive to the south. Improvements are planned to the southern intersection, said Lisa Key, director of planning and engineering for the city. “They’re actually realigning the intersection and putting in a light there,” she said. “Most of that work will be done after school ends.”

Kramer Parkway south of Country Vista is also getting a face-lift. The road will be partially reconstructed between Country Vista and Sprague Avenue in a $1.6 million project and will be closed completely for at least a month, Key said.

The closure dates have not yet been determined and will be posted on the city’s website and social media pages in advance, Key said.

On the north side of the freeway, a roundabout will be installed at the new intersection of Kramer Parkway and Mission Avenue. Mission is a two-lane road in that section with no shoulder. Greenstone Homes will rebuild the street and widen it between Harvest Parkway and Harvard to accommodate additional development in the area.

“It was a requirement of the River Crossing 2020 final plat,” Key said. “We’re going to have bike paths. We’re getting sidewalks on the south side and a multiuse path on the north side. It will be a beautiful improvement to the River District.”

Mission Avenue will be closed completely during the work, which will begin in mid-June and be completed in August before school starts. The detour route will be Indiana Avenue, and a traffic light has already been installed at Indiana and Harvard to facilitate additional traffic using the route.

Greenstone will also be installing a roundabout at the intersection of Harvard Road and Wellington Parkway just south of the Spokane River. The bulk of the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Another big project will be the extension of Cataldo Avenue east from its current end point to the new Western States facility being built just north of the freeway. The project is being paid for by Western States and should be done by the end of the year, Key said.

In the future, the city plans to continue extending Cataldo Avenue to the east through currently vacant land and then curve it north. “When Centennial (Properties) comes in with a site plan it will be extended all the way to Mission,” Key said.

Key acknowledges that road construction this summer will likely create issues for drivers. “To get nice things, we have to endure a little pain,” she said. “It’s going to require patience on the part of the traveling public.”

The city also plans to finish the public works yard on Kramer Parkway just east of Ridgeline High School. Fencing and site work already have been completed. The project is currently out to bid, with proposals due by the end of the month. Key said the city is worried about how recent price increases will impact the project, for which the city has budgeted just over $1 million.

“If things come in really high, we may need to reject all bids and regroup,” she said. “It’s a bad time for anyone trying to do anything in the construction industry.”

Improvements are also slated for Trailhead Golf Course. The city council has been discussing the scope of work and budget for months and recently suggested moving forward with site work, an expanded parking lot and a new clubhouse with a budget of $6.4 million. The project was originally planned to include a new driving range, but that has been postponed due to high costs, Key said.

The council is scheduled for one final vote to approve the amended project in mid-May. Site work can begin immediately if the council approves it, Key said. “Nothing is written in stone,” she said. “This has been a really challenging process because of rising costs.”

The restroom lighting will be improved at Rocky Hill Park this year and Pavillion Park is slated for roof replacement, windscreen replacement and lighting updates. Small upgrades are also planned for City Hall, including carpeting, the HVAC system and the water heater.

The city plans to do some design work this year for future projects, including a turn lane at the intersection of Country Vista Boulevard and Appleway Avenue, upgrades to the library and reconfiguration of the City Hall parking lot.

Work to watch for

The installation of curb ramps will close the shoulders of several intersections this week on Empire Avenue and Post Street.

Empire Avenue at Morton, Perry and Helena streets will see shoulder closures Wednesday through Friday. The shoulder of Post Street at Fairview, Park, Frederick, Eculid, Dalton, Alice, Cora, Gordon, Kiernan, Providence, Garland and Walton avenues will be closed Wednesday through April 22.

Right-of-way work will close 14th Avenue between Division Street and Grand Boulevard on Monday.

The intersections of Regal Street and Crescent and Jackson avenues will be closed Monday and Tuesday for paving.

The right curb lane of Sprague Avenue between Post and Monroe streets downtown will be closed Monday through April 29 for utility repair.

The right-hand turn lane into the Spokane Convention Center will be closed between Browne and Bernard streets Monday through April 29 for utility repair.