The city of Spokane plans to spend roughly $160 million on transportation projects over the next six years, and has identified more than $260 million in additional work that could be done if funding becomes available.
Each year, the city updates its six-year plan for road and trail work, adding new projects to the list as they're identified and removing those that have been completed. Its next plan runs from 2010 to 2015.
That plan includes just six newly added projects for which funding is available, totaling about $3.6 million. It also includes a number of big-ticket projects that the city would like to build if it could find the money, including the $15 million replacement of the bridge that carries Mission Avenue over the Spokane River near Avista Corp.'s headquarters, and $10 million in safety upgrades to Hatch Road south of 57th Avenue.
John Mercer, manager of capital programs in the city's public works and utilities department, says that the unfunded projects are included on the list because that helps the city as it seeks grants for them, and their inclusion is part of the approval process that enables the city to build them.
Among the projects for which money hasn't been found is a planned rehabilitation of Wellesley Avenue between Assembly and Driscoll streets. That planned $1.4 million project originally was slated for possible federal stimulus funding, Mercer says. It is being designed and could be built later this year or early next year if money becomes available thanks to savings on other projects or if other planned stimulus projects don't end up being done, he says.
Among the funded projects added to the plan are two concrete intersections along Northwest Boulevard at Alberta and Cochran streets, which are expected to cost a total of about $1.1 million. Another new project on the list is the first, $700,000 phase of a planned downtown bicycle network that would include improvements along Spokane Falls Boulevard and Riverside Avenue, as well as on Howard and Jefferson streets and Fourth Avenue.
Another new project is the $1.2 million rehabilitation of the historic Iron Bridge, east of Gonzaga University on the Spokane River, for use as a trail link. In addition, the city has added to the plan a study of a proposed pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks east of downtown to connect the East Sprague Business District to the Riverpoint Campus.
Replacement of the Post Street vehicle bridge downtown with a pedestrian bridge, at an expected cost of about $10 million, had been in the earlier version of the plan.
The six-year plan also includes some projects that are under way or are to begin yet this year, such as construction of a Havana Street railroad overpass and the reconstruction Freya Street Bridge, both of which are getting under way this summer and are expected to cost a combined $34 million. Those are the biggest projects in the plan.
An extension of Riverside Avenue from Division Street east through the Riverpoint Campus, at a cost of about $13.5 million, is included, too. The city also plans to contribute $10 million to an interchange project planned in the Qualchan area on U.S. 195 by the Washington state Department of Transportation.
Among the unfunded projects added to the list this year are:
The $15 million replacement of the aging Mission Avenue bridge near Avista Corp.
An $11 million project to connect gaps in the Centennial Trail between Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls Community College, which would include a bridge across the Spokane River.
A $10 million project to make safety improvements to Hatch Road between 57th Avenue and a bridge over Hangman Creek that would include upgrades to the road, plus improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.
A $4 million crossover roadway that would connect Ray Street to Freya Street between 37th and 42nd avenues near Ferris High School. Some money is already designated for design of that project.
The $4 million third and final phase of the Fish Lake trail development, which would include two bridge crossings over a rail line.
An intelligent transportation system installation on Francis Avenue, that could cost about $2.4 million and possibly would include such features as electronic signage or traffic cameras connected to DOT's Web site.
Also included on the unfunded list is about $15 million in street and streetscape improvements on Monroe Street between Main Avenue and Northwest Boulevard; more than $13 million in improvements along Freya Street at both the north and south ends of the city, along with a $3 million intersection upgrade at Freya and Sprague; a $3 million plan to widen 37th between Regal and the Spokane city limits; a new Barnes Road arterial between Nine Mile Road and Indian Trail Road with an estimated cost of about $3.8 million; $10 million in improvements to Cheney-Spokane Road, some of which would be in coordination with the state DOT; and a $15.4 million replacement of the Fiske Street Bridge, which crosses two sets of railroad tracks east of the former Playfair Race Track.
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