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Eastern Region - E-Mail Update Newsletter

November 2016

Welcome to our November newsletter. This month we talk about an upcoming study on Interstate 90 operations in the Spokane area.

As always, if you have any questions on items in this newsletter, or other transportation issues, please let me know. Give us a call at (509) 324-6010 or send me an email at

Mike Gribner
Regional Administrator
WSDOT Eastern Region

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You are invited to discuss I-90 congestion, operations at Dec. 13 open house

I-90 is an important transportation route through the Spokane metropolitan area. WSDOT felt a need to take an in-depth look at how the facility is operating and see if there are strategies available for improvement. I-90 in the Spokane area is experiencing increased, regular congestion, primarily during peak commute hours. Congestion outside of peak periods is also on the rise. This congestion increases the possibility of collisions occurring on the freeway.

To help us get started, the public is invited to learn the details of the upcoming Interstate 90/Four Lakes to Idaho Operational Study at an informational open house Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Staff from the Washington State Department of Transportation will be on hand to listen to public feedback on improving safety and operations of the freeway and answer questions about the study. There will be no formal presentation, and the public is free to stop in anytime during the open house.

Meeting details
What: I-90 congestion study open house
When: 5–8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016
Where: North Central High School cafeteria, 1600 North Howard Street, Spokane

WSDOT contracted with an engineering firm, DKS Associates, to assist with a study focused on improving safety and operations of the existing freeway through the expanded boundary limits. Rather than look at higher-cost, capacity-expansion strategies, this study emphasizes low-cost strategies to efficiently move traffic on the existing system in a manner that improves safety and addresses transportation deficiencies. DKS will examine collision history and operational performance in close detail and make recommendations for project strategies.

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Paving Award

We are always excited when one of our projects is an award winner.

Recently, the Washington Asphalt Paving Association recognized WSDOT project engineer, Chad Simonson and his crew, plus the contractor, Poe Asphalt, with an Award of Merit for their work on the US 195/Colfax to Dry Creek project in 2015.

This was a particularly challenging job, with some complicated work inside the city of Colfax, along with over 5 miles of work north of town.

The unique aspects of this project involved paving within the city limits of Colfax, full depth pavement repair adjacent to the Palouse River bridge ends, and staging the installation of new concrete railroad crossing panels.

The contract required resurfacing Main Street in Colfax with two paving machines, installing nearly 4,000 tons of asphalt. The dual pavers reduced the duration of the work down to two days from four for the mainline paving within the city limits.

Outside the city limits of Colfax, north of Colfax, 12,600 tons of asphalt was placed on the final layer in six days.

Thanks to the WSDOT and contractor crew for a job well done.

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NSC Update

In 2015, WSDOT was fortunate to have the Legislature fully-fund the North Spokane Corridor freeway for completion. With that in mind, we are re-focusing our effort on community involvement for the design and construction phases that will be underway over the next 12 years.

WSDOT continues to examine routing options in the vicinity of Wellesley Avenue in the BNSF “Black Tank” area. No firm decisions have been made at this time.