Spokane Journal of Business

Transportation spending to rise significantly in 2015

Work on NSC, other continuing projects slated this year

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-—City of Spokane
As part of its larger project to improve the aesthetics of gateways to downtown, the city of Spokane plans to place a statue of a spear fisherman and landscaping at the Interstate 90-Division Street eastbound off-ramp.
-—Mike McLean
Crews work at the base of Sprague Way, a one-way arterial that stretches from Third Avenue to Sprague Avenue east of downtown Spokane.
-—Mike McLean
A bridge takes shape as part of the North Spokane Corridor project. Proponents hope to receive more funding from the state to move the project ahead.
-—Spokane Transit Authority
Spokane Transit Authority is going ahead with this envisioned West Plains project.

More than $160 million in new and continuing transportation-related construction projects are slated for 2015 across Spokane County, an increase of $20 million from last year, including continued work on the North Spokane Corridor and several previously delayed road and stormwater projects. 

The Washington state Department of Transportation will be continuing work on its $16.2 million Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway realignment, as part of its work on the North Spokane Corridor. The project is expected to wrap up this year.

The city of Spokane is anticipating starting construction on its long-awaited Division gateway project this spring. The $598,000 project was awarded to Bacon Concrete Inc., of Colbert, Wash., early this year, and is expected to be completed this year. The city also contracted with SPVV Landscaping Architects and Trindera Engineering, both of Spokane, for the electrical engineering and the streetlights.

The beautification project involves landscaping, adding traffic barriers, and installing artwork in five key areas around Division Street and Interstate 90 to create a more welcoming gateway for those entering Spokane from the highway. The project has been in the works for more than seven years. 

The city of Spokane Valley is continuing work on its $12.3 million Sullivan Road bridge project this year; construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

The Spokane International Airport has several projects lined up for 2015, including an estimated $6 million taxiway and taxi-lane reconstruction project at Felts Field, says spokesman Todd Woodard. The airport board expects to award the contract for that project at its April 16 meeting, he says. 

Also planned for this year is a $1.5 million to $2 million project at the airport’s Parking Operations Building, Woodard says, and $1.7 million in upgrades to the airport’s fuel facilities. That project currently is underway and McClintock & Turk Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor. 

The airport also is receiving and evaluating designs for site preparation for a convenience store, estimated at $1 million, and the south pilot ramp rehabilitation project, estimated at $550,000. 

Construction is ongoing for the second phase of its large taxiway reconfiguration project. The $7.2 million second phase, which was awarded to Acme Concrete Paving Inc., of Spokane, is to begin work in April, says Bryan White, project manager at Acme. The project includes realigning two taxiways and reconstructing a third, White says. Work is slated to wrap up at the end of July, he says. 

In addition to planned construction projects, the Washington State Transportation Commission has completed its 20-year transportation plan and submitted it to the Legislature for consideration in late January. Included in the plan is the $750 million needed to complete Spokane’s biggest road project, the long-awaited North Spokane Corridor, from Francis Avenue to Interstate 90. 

Also this year, the Spokane Transit Authority is moving forward with its $14.8 million West Plains Transit Center project, to be located south of the Medical Lake Interchange on I-90. Conceptual design of the project is expected to be finished in April, says Brandon Rapez-Betty, a spokesman for STA. Engineering design is expected to follow that this year and wrap up next year. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2018. 

Department of Transportation


The state Department of Transportation’s Eastern Region has more than $46 million in projects planned for this year, says spokesman Al Gilson, including continuing work on the North Spokane Corridor and a handful of chip seal projects. 

As part of its North Spokane Corridor work, the department is continuing construction on the about $16.2 million Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway realignment and extension of the Children of the Sun trail project, which began in 2013.

The project includes realigning 7 miles of rail line and building two freeway bridges and two pedestrian bridges, as well as extending the trail into the Hillyard neighborhood. The project is expected to wrap up this year, Gilson says. Apollo Inc., of Kennewick, Wash., is the contractor for the project. 

Also planned for this year is a $7.7 million project to grind down the southbound pavement on a stretch of U.S. 195 from Excelsior Road to Interstate 90, Gilson says. The purpose of the grinding is to remove the ruts in the road and replace some broken concrete slabs, he says. The project is slated to begin this spring and wrap up later in the year. 

A $3.2 million grind-and-repaving project on State Route 290 from Sullivan Road to the Washington-Idaho state line also is planned for this year, Gilson says. The road will be repaved with hot mix asphalt, he says. Permanent striping and rumble strips will be added from the Wellesley Avenue “Y” to the state line. Construction is expected to begin this spring and to be completed in the summer, Gilson says. 

Three other hot asphalt-mix projects are planned on U.S. 195 this year, Gilson says.  One is a $2.5 million grind-and-overlay from Plaza, Wash., to Cornwell Road. The second project, costing about $2.6 million, will run from Colfax, Wash., to Dry Creek Road, and the third, $2.4 million project will run from State Route 27 to Babbitt Road. All three are slated to begin this spring and wrap up in the summer, Gilson says. 

The department also plans to spend about $1 million to upgrade its fiber-optic cable communication system on U.S. Highway 2 from Spotted Road to I-90, Gilson says. That project is slated to begin in the summer and to wrap up later this year. 

Also in the $1 million range for this year is a project to install curve warning signs and to upgrade existing signs at several locations, primarily on state routes 20, 21, and 31. That project is slated to start in the spring and be completed in the summer, Gilson says.  

The DOT also is planning about $535,000 worth of upgrades to guardrails along several segments of I-90 throughout Spokane County. Work on that project should begin early this year and be finished by mid-year, Gilson says. The contractor for that project is Frank Gurney Inc., of Spokane Valley. 

Slated for this year as well is $135,000 worth of signage upgrades near the Spokane International Airport, Gilson says, specifically on U.S. 2 near Airport Road and Sunset Boulevard. The contractor for that project is Construction Ahead Inc., of Kennewick, Wash., which does business as Pavement Surface Control. Construction should begin in the spring and finish in the summer, he says. 

The department also has several chip seal resurfacing projects lined up for this year, totaling about $9 million, Gilson says. One hundred center-line miles of rural highways are expected to be sealed between late spring and mid-summer this year, including: State Route 206 from Bruce Road to Mt. Spokane State Park; U.S. 2 from the Spokane County line to State Route 211; State Route 27 from Palouse, Wash., to Garfield, Wash.; and State Route 20 from Tiger, Wash. to Ruby Mountain Road. Also scheduled to be sealed are State Route 20 from Ruby Mountain Road to Pend Oreille Mill; State Route 20 from Tiger to Ruby Mountain Road; U.S. 395 from Boyds, Wash., to the U.S.-Canadian border; State Route 21/State Route 20 to the border; and State Route 20 from the Okanogan county line to Republic, Wash.

City of Spokane


The city of Spokane anticipates spending about $30 million this year for street, sidewalk, and trail/path projects, including several continuing projects, says city spokeswoman Julie Happy.

Happy says a $2 million second phase of the High Drive rehabilitation project is slated to begin this spring and will run from Bernard Street to Hatch Road. The project will include installing six-foot-wide sidewalks on the bluff side of the road, planting strips, and bike lanes. Phase one of the project included improvements from 29th Avenue to Bernard Street. 

Ongoing this year will be improvements to the Lincoln/Monroe street couplet from Eighth Avenue to 17th Avenue, Happy says. The $5.5 million second phase, which should begin this spring, will run from Second Avenue to Eighth Avenue, she says. The project will involve removing the asphalt overlay and installing concrete overlay from Fourth Avenue to Seventh Avenue, to provide more durability on the steep hill there. Pedestrian lighting, some new curbs, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible ramps and landscaping also are included in the project. Some storm line, water main, and storm conveyor system work also is in the project.

The city also is anticipating the start of construction this summer on a $4.5 million second phase of its Riverside Drive rehabilitation project, Happy says. This phase will reconstruct the road on a new alignment and will include two traffic lanes, two bike lanes, curbs, sidewalks, and drainage, she says. The project is expected to wrap up next spring, she says. 

Marlene Feist, spokeswoman for the city’s utilities department, says it just received the low bid for a new $5.1 million, 900,000-gallon combined sewer overflow tank, to be built at Northwest Boulevard and Providence Avenue. Clearwater Construction & Management LLC, of Spokane, is the low bidder on the project, Feist says, and work is expected to being this spring and wrap up next year. 

The city also is continuing work on a $4 million tank on Sprague Avenue near the Hamilton Street overpass, Feist says. The contractor is Halme Construction Inc., of Spokane, Feist says. She says the original estimate for the project was $3.7 million, but some unexpected site conditions have upped the cost and pushed work back. Site work began last fall, but was then put on hold. Work has restarted, Feist says, and is estimated to be completed at the end of the year. 

The city also is in the design phase for a combined water main replacement and stormwater mitigation pilot project on Havana Street, Feist says. The $3.7 million project will replace a water main running under the street from 37th Avenue to Glenrose Road and from Glenrose Road to the reservoirs on 57th Avenue, Feist says. Along with the water main replacement, the city will be installing porous bike lanes to help control rainwater runoff, as well as swales, lower-curbed sidewalks, and landscaping, she says. 

The project is part of the Spokane streets levy, which was passed by voters last November and turned the city’s former street rehabilitation bond into a 20-year property tax levy. Some levy money also will be used for several other projects this year, Feist says, including improvements to Indiana and Rowan avenues. 

The $1.9 million first phase of work on Indiana will run from Division to Dakota Street, Feist says; the entire    $ 2.5 million project will run from Division Street to North Crescent Avenue. The first phase is being designed by TD&H Engineering Inc., of Spokane, and will involve pavement replacement and some ADA updates to sidewalks, Feist says. It also will include some water main replacement and stormwater management work, she says. Bids on the project are expected to go out in May, Feist says, with construction beginning in July and finishing in October.

The first phase of the similar $3.8 million Rowan Avenue project, which will run from Driscoll Boulevard to Monroe Street once completed, will involve a stretch from Driscoll to Alberta Street, Feist says. The first phase is estimated at $2.7 million and is being designed by Taylor Engineering Inc., of Spokane. That project also is expected to be out for bid in May, she says, with construction beginning in July and wrapping up in October.

City of Spokane Valley


The city of Spokane Valley is continuing construction on a $12.3 million phase of the Sullivan Road bridge project, Branch says. The 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 project, which is slated to wrap up in 2016, she says. 

Work began on the bridge last year, after a brief derailment the year before when a crucial state piece of the project’s funding didn’t materialize. The city obtained another engineering estimate for the project, making it more than $4 million cheaper, which put it within the reach of funding alternatives, Branch says. 

The city also is planning to resurface part of Sullivan Road next year from Sprague Avenue to Mission Avenue. Construction costs for the project are estimated at $1.15 million, Branch says. The project will resurface the roadway and upgrade some curb ramps, she says. The project should start and finish this summer, and is not out for bid yet, Branch says. 

Slated for this year as well is an upgrade project for the Argonne corridor, between Montgomery and Knox avenues. The project aims to improve traffic flow and reduce traffic by improving traffic signals, adding a turn lane on the northbound side of Montgomery, and some modifications to the Argonne-Knox intersection, Branch says. Cost for the project is about $1.1 million, and the contractor is Cameron-Reilly Concrete, of Spokane Valley. 

The city also will be continuing work on its Appleway Trail project phase 2A this year, Branch says. That about $1 million phase will involve the construction of a shared-use path and landscaping, she says. Stone Creek Land Design & Development LLC, of Spokane, is the contractor. The phase is slated to start and finish this spring.

Branch says the city is planning an $800,000 project to connect Mansfield Avenue from east of Pines Road to west of Mirabeau Parkway. The road will be three lanes, she says, and have curbs, gutters, sidewalks, bike lanes, and the project also will include stormwater improvements. The project isn’t out for bid yet, Branch says. 

Also expected to cost around $800,000 will be the city’s Pines Road-Grace Avenue intersection safety project. The project will add a center turn lane on Pines on each side of the Grace intersection, Branch says. The project isn’t out for bid yet, she says. 

The city anticipates spending an as yet undecided amount on arterial and collector resurfacing projects, Branch says. The work will involve grinding and overlaying the roadways and upgrading sidewalk ramps and stormwater facilities. 

The projects are expected to begin this spring and wrap up in the fall, she says. The areas slated for improvement are: Sullivan Road, from Trent Avenue to Wellesley Avenue; Argonne Road, from Sprague Avenue to Appleway Boulevard; Montgomery Drive, from Dartmouth Lane to University Road; and Broadway Avenue, from Herald Road to University Road.

Spokane County


Spokane County’s capital improvement program for this year includes about $18 million in construction costs, $11.4 million for maintenance, and $7.5 million for road preservation projects, says Chad Coles, assistant county engineer. 

The county has received an urban arterial grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for improvements to Market Street. The county also will provide some funds for the $2.2 million project, which will reconstruct Market Street from Houston Avenue to Lincoln Road. Several sections of sidewalk will be reconstructed, and a new 5.5-foot sidewalk will be installed on the east side of the road.  Bicycle lanes also will be added to both sides. The project is scheduled to be designed this spring, with construction beginning in 2016. 

Coles says that also on the schedule for this year is a $2.3 million project to pave, reconstruct, and realign Old Trails Road/Inland Road, west of Spokane. The road currently is gravel, Coles says. The project isn’t out for bid yet, but is expected to wrap up this October. The project will impact traffic that’s headed to the nearby off-road vehicle park, Coles says, but the county has been working with the state parks department to ensure access. 

The county also has a project to replace the Christensen Road Bridge for $1.8 million, Coles says. The bridge spans Deep Creek west of Airway Heights. The project originally was scheduled for last year, but the county hadn’t finished acquiring all the necessary right-of-way land. Now the county has all the needed land, and the project should be completed around the end of the year, Coles says. The bridge will be closed during construction, with a detour in place, he says. 

Coles says the county also has a $2 million paving project on Palouse Highway slated for this year. The surface reconstruction will extend from Windmill Road to Freya Street. The project should run from May through October, he says. The county also is coordinating with the city, whose Havana Street project is nearby, to ensure residents can get to their homes, he says. 

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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