Spokane Journal of Business

Transportation plan sets sights on upkeep, North Spokane Corridor

Horizon 2040 represents shift in focus for SRTC, set to go into effect in '14

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The Spokane Regional Transportation Council's long-term transportation plan, called Horizon 2040, is shifting focus from constructing new projects to preservation of existing streets, says SRTC spokeswoman Staci Lehman.

"It's a different perspective from the past," she says.

The one large exception to the shift away from new infrastructure is an emphasis on finishing the North Spokane Corridor.

Horizon 2040 is a continuing look at the Spokane area's current transportation systems, the condition of facilities, and projections for the future, says Lehman. The plan has been in the works for almost two years and is expected to begin in 2014, she says.

Horizon 2040, which includes projects and upgrades to be completed between 2014 and 2040 and also includes a financial plan for the projects, is a "living" document, Lehman says, which means that it will be evaluated every four years and amendments made if necessary.

The projects in the plan are divided into three categories, Lehman says: short, mid, and long-term. Projects in the short-term time period, between 2014 and 2020, include the Barker Road overpass spanning Trent Avenue and a phase of the North Spokane Corridor between Francis Avenue and the Spokane River.

In the mid-term, between 2021 and 2030, the plan includes a second phase of the North Spokane Corridor project between the river and Francis Avenue, and the long-term plan calls for improvements on the Latah Bridge and more work on the Corridor.

"Right now, there are only a few projects in the long-term category," Lehman says. "Those may shift around."

The next step, she says, is to take public comments and, if necessary, make changes to the plan. SRTC has hosted two open forums, one in Cheney on Oct. 29 and another in Spokane on Nov. 6. Horizon 2040 also is available for public viewing on www.srtc.org. Comments can be sent to SRTC via e-mail until Nov 16.

State Route 904, between I-90 and Cheney, was a common topic at the Oct. 29 meeting in Cheney.

"A lot of comment was 'move this project up,'" Lehman says. "It's in the plan right now to be improved in 2030. Now we sit down and see if it's actually feasible and if it's a priority to move it up."

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for Spokane County. It works with local governments and transportation departments to ensure efficient transportation throughout the county.

Katie Ross
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Reporter Katie Ross covers manufacturing, hospitality, and government at the Journal of Business. An outdoor enthusiast and snowboard fanatic, Katie is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University.  

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