Nearly $140 million in new and continuing transportation-related construction projects are slated for 2016 across Spokane County, a decrease of almost $20 million from last year. The decrease is likely due to what Washington state Department of Transportation officials are calling a smaller construction season, with a lull in work on larger projects, such as the North Spokane Corridor.
The state Department of Transportation’s Eastern Region has halted work on the $1.49 billion North Spokane Corridor project for now, having completed the projects it was funded for this year. Instead, the department will focus on two other sizable projects planned near the north-south freeway route this year—a roundabout at the intersection of Freya Street and Wellesley Avenue and a reconfiguration of the Freya Street-Interstate 90 interchange off-ramp.
The city of Spokane is continuing work on the $5.6 million second phase of its Monroe Street-Lincoln Street couplet project. The project has yet to go out to bid, but is expected to begin soon.
The city also expects to continue improvements to Indiana Avenue this month, with the $2 million second phase of that project set to begin soon. The project involves full-depth reconstruction of the street, new striping, bike lanes and creation of stormwater swales to redirect stormwater runoff.
The city of Spokane Valley is looking to complete its $15.8 million Sullivan Road bridge project this year; construction is expected to finish in October. The project will replace the southbound lanes, or the west side of the bridge, with a 63-foot-wide, four-lane bridge.
The Spokane International Airport has several projects lined up for 2015, including airport security and elevator upgrades projects, says spokesman Todd Woodard.
A $1.5 million elevator upgrades project has been awarded to Spokane office of Dublin-based, Trane Inc., a subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand Inc, and work is underway now. The airport security upgrades are estimated to be $10 million and will likely be bid in late 2016. That project will include airfield perimeter and terminal security upgrades as well as upgrades to access control and cameras.
Also planned for this year is a $7 million south pilot ramp rehabilitation project, which includes reconstruction of an aircraft parking apron in the corporate aviation area of the airport and replacing deteriorated asphalt. That project hasn’t yet gone out for bids.
Also slated to begin construction this year is an estimated $6.1 million taxiway and taxi-lane reconstruction project at Felts Field. The contract for that project has been awarded to L&L Cargile Inc. of Spokane Valley and includes pavement rehabilitation and deferred maintenance. Woodard says T-O Engineers will be overseeing the project as the airport’s construction management and administration consultants.
Additional airport projects scheduled for this year include construction of a $2 million gas station and convenience store site and a $1.5 million parking operations garage to house shuttle and snow removal vehicles. Woodward says the parking operations garage project is set to be awarded in April, while the gas station and c-store site preparation will be bid this summer and the work completed later this year.
Also this year, the Spokane Transit Authority has two main projects set to begin this spring and early summer, says Brandon Rapez-Betty, a spokesman for STA.
The first project is a $3.5 million renovation of the downtown plaza. The project is expected to begin this spring and to be completed in the summer of 2017. The contract hasn’t gone out for bids yet. The project includes consolidating rider services and retail restaurants on the street level, making them more convenient and easy to locate, and adding a waiting area on the Sprague Avenue side to enable riders to see their bus arrive. The project will also involve relocating the escalators, and the addition of leasable space and meeting rooms on the plaza’s second level.
The STA’s second project involves improvements to the Jefferson Street Park and Ride, estimated to cost $310,000. That facility is located along Jefferson Street, beneath the freeway and between third and fourth avenues. The facility enables riders to choose a space in which to park their vehicle for a time, while they ride the transit. Rapez-Betty says invitations for bids on the project are expected to be issued either this month or next.
The project will include removing and replacing an existing drive aisle along the north side of the lot, sealing and restriping, widening an approach apron off of Jefferson Street, replacing a failing concrete apron at the exit onto Fourth Avenue, installation of a raised passenger loading platform, benches, and a passenger information sign. The project will also add a bike rack, poles and security cameras, as well as electrical fiber and communications wiring and equipment. The project will begin in June, and is expected to wrap up in September.
Rapez-Betty says another of the STA projects, the West Plains Transit Project, is still in the engineering design phase. The project previously was estimated to cost $14.8 million, but new project estimates are in the works and won’t be finalized until late 2016. Construction on the project is set to begin in 2017, with completion estimated for late 2018 or early 2019.Department of Transportation
The state Department of Transportation’s Eastern Region spokesman Al Gilson says the department has halted work on the North Spokane Corridor for now, having completed the projects it was funded for this year. Despite the lull, Gilson says the department is working on designs for upcoming NSC projects to have them ready when construction funding arrives.
Last year, the Washington state Legislature committed the $750 million needed to complete the $1.49 billion project. The department has completed 5 1/2 miles of the project’s planned 10 1/2-mile thoroughfare in recent years.
“Additional projects for the next five miles from the vicinity of Freya and Francis on down to the Interstate 90 interchange will probably start closer to summer 2017,” says Gilson.
Construction on the NSC is expected to continue north to south, although some unexpected challenges might arise that could result in changes to the freeway’s design, one such issue being environmental contamination left in the area by various industrial businesses.
Gilson says work this year also may include some curb and sidewalk improvements in areas along Market Street and other adjacent city streets where land parcels were purchased to make way for work on the North Spokane Corridor. “We’ll be looking to cul-de-sac those streets, cleaning them up a bit since we purchased parcels around them,” he says.
While 2016 happens to be a softer construction year for the department, Gilson says it does have at least two major projects scheduled to start soon, those being the construction of a $2.5 million roundabout at Freya Street and Wellesley Avenue and the $3.5 million reconfiguration of an off-ramp from I-90 to Freya.
The roundabout project is expected to be bid in April and to begin construction this summer. Prior to construction, the city of Spokane will have to install new water and sewer lines at the intersection.
The I-90 Freya Street ramp reconfiguration project is expected to ease traffic congestion, by moving the ramp’s location closer to Havana Street and routing that traffic onto Second Avenue. A planned new traffic signal at the Second-and-Freya intersection also looks to improve traffic flows to the area.
Gilson says construction of that project is expected to begin this summer and should finish before the end of the construction season.
City of Spokane
The city of Spokane anticipates spending about $13.4 million this year for street, sidewalk and trail/path projects, including on several continuing projects, says city spokeswoman Julie Happy.
Happy says construction will continue this spring on the $5.6 million second phase of the Monroe Street-Lincoln Street couplet project. This phase will include full-depth street reconstruction, striping, the addition of bike lanes, and some storm-water run-off management work to those streets as they pass between Fourth and Eighth avenues. The project hasn’t yet gone to bid, but is expected to start construction this month and finish in July.
Happy says the third and final phase of that project will include improvements to Monroe and Lincoln streets from Second Street to Main Avenue. This phase is estimated at $2.5 million and should begin construction in May and wrap up in November.
Construction is also continuing on improvements to Indiana Avenue. The $2 million second phase of that project is set to begin in March and will run between Dakota Street and Perry Street. The project includes full-depth reconstruction of the street, new striping, bike lanes and creation of storm-water swales to redirect storm water runoff. This project hasn’t gone out to bid yet, but should be completed sometime in July.
Also set to begin this summer is an extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, between Sherman Street and north Erie Street. The $2 million project has yet to be sent out to bid, but is expected to begin construction in June and to run through December.
Also planned for this summer is a $1.2 million project to create a share use paved trail for cyclists and pedestrians along part of the existing gravel Ben Burr Trail. The project will start just north of the intersection of 11th Avenue and Fiske Street, moving north until it meets the existing gravel Ben Burr Trail, which it will follow northwest, crossing the pedestrian bridge at Altamont Street, and continuing on until it enters Liberty Park.
From there the trail splits with one branch heading west along the south side of Third Avenue to Arthur and the other branch heading east, entering the Perry Street tunnel beneath I-90 then continuing northwest along the east side of the embankment of the Hamilton Street bridge. At First Avenue, the trail will cross to the east side of Erie and continue north to the soon to be constructed extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. It will then continue north to the river bank at which point it will follow the river bank west and connect to the existing trail at approximately the point where Front Avenue dead ends into the river. The project has yet to go out for bids, but is expected to start construction in June and to run through September.
A slightly smaller project, still in the early design phases but anticipated to start this summer, is a Main Avenue streetscape project. The project will include streetscape, striping, street enhancements, and the addition of a center parking lane along Main Avenue from Browne Street to Division Street. Happy says the $160,000 project is a low-budget pilot project, paid for in part through parking funds generated in the downtown area.
“We expect to seek federal or state funds in the future to place additional improvement if the pilot is successful,” says Happy.
Marlene Feist, spokeswoman for the city’s utilities department, says the city intends to begin construction on about $31 million in combined sewer overflow projects this year.
Feist says the department has awarded Halme Construction, of Spokane, the contract for a $7 million project to construct a 690,000-gallon combined sewer overflow tank along north Pettet Drive, on the north side of what is known as Doomsday Hill. Work on the project is expected to begin this spring and to wrap up next year.
Also this spring, the city plans to begin a $5.9 million project constructing a 1 million gallon tank at Summit Boulevard and Lincoln Street, in the northwest gravel parking lot across from Anthony’s Restaurant. The project is expected to take one year to construct. The contractor for the project is Garco Construction Inc., of Spokane.
According to Happy, around that same time the city also intends to install a new traffic signal nearby at the intersection of Monroe Street and Summit. The project is estimated at $350,000, and is part of a Kendall Yards development project.
Feist says the city will also begin a smaller, $875,000 project in July, adding a 10,000-gallon tank at Upriver Drive and Rebecca Street, which should take about six months to complete.
Feist says the city has two projects set to begin construction in August. The first project will create a concrete, 1.2 million-gallon CSO tank near the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and T.J. Meenach Drive. The engineer’s current construction estimate on that project is $7.8 million, and the project is expected to be completed next year.
The second project is a $2 million combined sewer and stormwater project. The project includes installing stormwater management features in a number of areas through the West Central neighborhood. Feist says locations still need to be finalized, but the city is looking at areas along Boone, Nettleton, Cochran, and Lindeke.
She says the city plans to begin another tank project this fall, constructing a $7 million tank west of Liberty Park near the I-90 interchange. That project is expected to take a year to complete.
Feist says these projects are all part of the city’s Integrated Clean Water Plan, which prioritizes projects based on their positive environmental impact to the river. She says the department expects to have a busy construction season this year and next, as work on these projects is expected to be completed by 2017.
City of Spokane Valley
The city of Spokane Valley is continuing construction on its $15.9 million Sullivan Road bridge project, says spokeswoman Carolbelle Branch. The completed project will replace the southbound lanes, or the west side of the bridge, with a 63-foot-wide, four-lane bridge. Max J. Kuney Co., of Spokane, is the contractor for the current $12.8 million second phase of the project, which is slated to wrap up October. Branch says the project is receiving funding from a mix of state, federal, and city sources.
Another of the city’s bridge projects is a $160,000 project to replace the expansion joints on the Fancher Road Bridge over BNSF Railway Co. tracks north of Trent Avenue. This project hasn’t yet gone out for bids, but is set to begin in May.
Also in May, the city is planning to widen Pines Road at its intersection with Grace Avenue, creating a new left turn lane into Grace Avenue for north and southbound drivers. The $733,000 project hasn’t gone out for bids yet, but is expected to complete in June.
The city also plans a $1.9 million project, redesigning and adding bike lanes along McDonald Road from 16th Street to Mission Avenue. South of Sprague Avenue, McDonald Road will remain a two-lane road, but bike lanes and signing will be added. North of Sprague, McDonald Road will be reduced from a four-lane to a three-lane section with an added center turn-lane and added bike lanes and signing. The project will also update curb ramps to current Americans with Disabilities Act standards, as well as improve the existing storm drainage structures and overlays McDonald from Mission Avenue to Eighth Avenue. The project has yet to go out for bids, but is set to begin in July and to run through August.
Branch says the city also plans a $506,000 project to widen pavement, complete curb and gutter improvements, and create a six-foot sidewalk and drainage improvements on the east side of Bowdish Road between Eighth and 12th avenues. The project also will involve adding a five-foot sidewalk behind the existing curb on the south side of 11th Avenue, between Bowdish and Wilbur roads. The project hasn’t gone out for bids yet, but is set to begin in July.
Also planned for July is a $ 390,000 project to install curb and sidewalk along the south side of Mission Avenue between Lily Road and Park Road, and along the west side of Park from Mission along the frontage of Seth Woodard Elementary School. This project hasn’t gone out for bids yet.
The city also plans a $446,000 project to install a new signal at the intersection of Mirabeau Parkway and Pines Road. The project includes new Americans with Disabilities Act curb ramps, traffic signal pedestrian push buttons, pedestrian heads, and crosswalk pavement markings. This project hasn’t gone out for bids yet, but is expected to begin in August.
Branch says the city also plans to spend $158,000 in citywide safety-related improvements from March through May. These include installing pedestrian activated traffic signals and new crosswalk striping at four city intersections, replacing signs with high reflectivity signs for better night visibility and adding new signs along several city bike routes. The project, which has yet to go out for bids, also will replace outdated pedestrian heads to countdown pedestrian heads at several traffic signals.
The city anticipates spending about $2 million on arterial and collector resurfacing projects this summer, says Branch. The work will include a $450,000 project beginning in June on the section of Broadway Avenue between Sullivan Road and Moore Road, a $1.5 million project also beginning in June on 32nd Avenue from Dishman Mica Road to Pines Road, and a $66,000 project beginning in August on north Sullivan Road near the Spokane River Bridge.
An additional $920,000 project includes the overlay and reconstruction of East Saltese Road from East Houk Road to 24th Avenue. This project has yet to go out for bids, but is expected to start in September.
Spokane County’s capital improvement program for this year includes about $ 14.1 million in construction costs, $12.5 million for maintenance, and $9.9 million for road preservation projects, says Chad Coles, assistant county engineer.
Coles says the county plans a $3.5 million Market Street improvement project from north Parksmith Drive to east Farwell Road. The project will be a full reconstruction of the road, adding sidewalks and curb on both sides, and including drainage and water treatment improvements.
Coles says the county also plans two bridge projects this year, both west of Spokane. The first is a $1.8 million bridge replacement at Ritchey Road. That bridge spans Deep Creek just south of U.S. 2. The project is set to begin in June. The second bridge project is a total replacement of Seven Mile Bridge which spans Coulee Creek just west of west Garfield Road. The $2 million project is set to go to bid in April and to begin construction in May.
The county also plans a series of projects for Hawthorne Road, says Cole. The first will be a $700,000 full road reconstruction and reconfiguration to three lanes from east Hawthorne’s intersection with Division Street to where it intersects U.S. 2.
The second project is estimated to be $1 million, and includes road surface reconstruction and stormwater treatment improvements along Hawthorne from Division to Waikiki Road. The project is set to go to bid in April.
Coles says there will also be a smaller, DOT-funded project going on at the same time, which will reconfigure the traffic signal at Division and Hawthorne and create a right-turn lane on Hawthorne for traffic turning north onto Division.
Coles says additional county projects this year include a $700,000 Country Homes Boulevard stormwater project between Division and Wall streets, and a $1 million pavement rehabilitation project for Argonne Road from the Spokane River to Wellesley Avenue.
Two additional projects involve safety rehabilitations, including an $800,000 rehabilitation of the intersection at south Glenrose Road and south Carnahan Road, and a $3 million reconfiguration project for the intersection of east Bigelow Gulch Road and north Forker Road. Coles says both intersections have high accident rates, and the county would like to see their safety improved.
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