The Washington state Department of Transportation has two major projects planned this year relating to the North Spokane Corridor, says Al Gilson, spokesman for the department’s Eastern Region.
So far, the department has completed 5.5 miles of the 10.5-mile, $1.49 billion project, which ultimately will create a freeway linking Interstate 90 to the U.S. 395 north of Spokane.
Gilson says the first project set to resume construction this spring is the $7.6 million Freya Street structures project, which will build two main-line freeway bridges over Freya, just north of Francis Avenue.
Spokane-based Max J. Kuney is the contractor for the project, which Gilson says is expected to be completed during the 2018 construction season.
“Construction on the project started last spring, and was suspended over the winter,” he says. “We’re just waiting on the weather to clear before work can continue.”
In addition to construction of the two bridges, Gilson says the project also includes embankment, surfacing, asphalt and concrete paving, fencing, a traffic barrier, curb and sidewalk improvements, and landscaping work.
Gilson says the second project expected to start this spring will be the Columbia Avenue-to-Freya connection project.
He says the project includes building the next portion of freeway, a nearly one-mile section that will connect the freeway from the point where construction stopped for the winter at the new Freya bridges, on south to east Columbia Avenue.
“Essentially, we’re building the asphalt base and concrete lanes for the freeway from the Freya bridges southward to the vicinity of Columbia Avenue,” says Gilson.
He says the project, which has an estimated construction cost of between $7.5 million and $10 million, is expected to go out for bids this month, and construction likely will begin in late spring.
Outside of those two projects, Gilson says the department also has been working in recent months to organize several workshops to gather public feedback on the NSC project, the last of which is scheduled for April 7.
“The workshops have been helpful to us as we work to design the freeway in a way that accommodates the needs of the neighborhoods it passes through,” he says.
Gilson says all of the workshops so far have focused on neighborhood-specific concerns, with the exception of the last one, which will discuss plans relating to the Children of the Sun Trail.
The cost to complete the North Spokane Corridor from its current south end to I-90 has been estimated at $750 million in today’s dollars.
Accounting for anticipated inflation to the year of construction the cost is estimated to swell to $879 million. The bulk of construction was approved by the Legislature to be funded 2019 to 2027.
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