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No final decision has been reached but DOT spokesman Al Gilson said the agency is considering a possible waiver of $13,878 billed to the city for snow plowing services during 2013.
The first bill from the state Transportation Department arrived last year at Airway Heights City Hall. It was about $50,000 and represented the amount spent by state crews clearing snow from the 2.5-mile section of U.S. Highway 2 located within city limits. The state plans to send another bill for the current season, too, and Airway Heights officials are turning to Olympia for help.
Commuters on Interstate 90 likely noticed as homes along the East Central stretch of the freeway began to disappear. Washington state Department of Transportation has been buying up several city blocks on each side of the freeway between Havana and Hamilton streets to make room for planned freeway expansion and for the interchange connecting to the North Spokane Corridor. Houses located there have been torn down and what’s left is an arid strip of land home to dying trees, grass and weeds. And it may be anywhere from 15 to 20 years before actual freeway construction begins.
A group of skaters who support the renovation of the Under the Freeway Skate Park took their project to the Spokane Park Board on Dec. 13. The group was under the impression it would get $300,000 from the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department to renovate the park but learned at a meeting in November the Park Board would not approve the expense.
A series of superloads coming through Spokane will travel down a portion of Third Avenue during the next several months because they don’t fit under a bridge over Interstate 90. Residents along the affected stretch of Third received notices Oct. 11 from the city of Spokane Neighborhoods Services stating the loads would exit I-90 at Altamont Street and travel down Third for several blocks because they are too big to fit under the nearby pedestrian bridge. They will re-enter the interstate at Rebecca Street.
Anytime the state builds, widens or restores a piece of freeway through the city, it may be obligated to build a noise wall to buffer the sound. Federal highway rules call for the walls whenever the sound level is expected to exceed 66 decibels in residential areas.
Congestion is now a fact of life on Interstate 90, with backups occurring almost every day from construction restrictions through Spokane and Spokane Valley. Pavement repairs west of the downtown area are causing frequent delays at the top of Sunset Hill, where eastbound traffic is squeezed into a single lane.
Big freeway improvements take so long to plan and build that state engineers have already started design work on improvements to Interstate 90 from Barker to Harvard roads even though there is no money to pay for it. Last month, the Washington State Department of Transportation held an open house in Spokane Valley to talk about design concepts for improving the Barker-to-Harvard stretch. Nearly 100 people turned out.
Drivers in the Spokane area are going to have another construction season of slowdowns under a series of major projects planned for Interstate 90 and Division Street. Studded tires have caused so much damage to the concrete pavement on the Sunset Hill that the Washington State Department of Transportation is now going to spend $7.8 million fixing the freeway in a project expected to last until 2012.
Construction of the North Spokane Corridor took a big jump forward in recent days with the installation of bridge girders at the future Wandermere interchange at U.S. Highway 395. The work comes as the project timeline nears the one-year mark until completion of the northern leg of the north-south freeway route.
The state Department of Transportation announced on Monday that it plans to add a third lane to Interstate 90 in each direction from Sullivan Road to Barker Road, with the work beginning next spring. The Spokane Valley project is one of 21 highway projects statewide worth an estimated $112 million that will receive funding as a result of savings on construction contracts in recent years.
While construction work continues on the North Spokane Corridor north of Francis Avenue, more vacant homes will be torn down this fall in central Spokane to make room for freeway work that won’t be done until leaders figure out how to pay the $1.6 billion needed to complete it. This summer, the state Department of Transportation awarded contracts to tear down about 50 structures – mostly houses – in the way of the proposed expansion of Interstate 90 and ramps designed to connect I-90 to the north-south freeway.
A $6.7 million Washington port of entry and weigh station complex under construction along Interstate 90 at the Idaho state line will provide nonstop service to many truckers, Department of Transportation spokesman Al Gilson said this week. He said scales embedded in the highway in front of the existing weigh station – about one-half mile east of its replacement – will weigh trucks on the fly. Meanwhile, windshield-mounted transponders will forward registration, safety documentation and other information using the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks.
The state-operated ferry across the Columbia River at Keller has been shut down because of a hull leak, disrupting travel between Lincoln and Ferry counties and the Colville Indian Reservation. State officials said a tiny leak was found in the hull during maintenance this week.
The state-operated ferry across the Columbia River at Keller has been shut down due to a hull leak, disrupting travel between Lincoln County and Ferry County and the Colville Indian Reservation.
Roadway damage to detour lanes along U.S. Highway 2 north of Farwell Road has forced the state to close one lane and restrict traffic until repairs are completed.