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May 2012

From the Regional Administrator
Keith Metcalf

Welcome to our May 2012 newsletter. This month we talk about a few more construction projects starting up and another section of the North Spokane Corridor opening to traffic in June.

If you have any questions on items in this newsletter, or other transportation issues, please let me know. Give me a call at (509) 324-6010 or drop me an e-mail at metcalk@wsdot.wa.gov .

Keith Metcalf
Regional Administrator
509-324-6010
metcalk@wsdot.wa.gov

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Next section of North Spokane Corridor opens June 13
New two-mile stretch connects NSC to US 395

On Wednesday, June 13, drivers will get their first chance to try out a new connection between US 395 and the northern five miles of the 10-mile NSC.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) built two gracefully curving bridges at the north end of the route (near the Wandermere Golf Course) and completed a four-lane section of divided concrete freeway linking the NSC with US 395. A fully paved pedestrian and bicycle path parallels the new freeway, connecting to other trails along the route.

Drivers who have watched our construction for the past three years will be able to enter the NSC from US 395 via a direct connection, traveling at freeway speeds. This means we will now have traffic flowing on the northern five miles of the 10-mile NSC.

Local drivers and community members are invited to a brief ceremony planned for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, to celebrate this milestone. The event will take place on the northbound lanes of the NSC just north of Farwell Road. (Visitors can access the event from Farwell Road, entering the northbound lanes from the new on-ramp.) Crews will remove all construction equipment and open the roadway to traffic later in the day. Funding for this $38 million project came from the transportation package passed by the 2003 Legislature. Graham Construction and Management of Spokane is the prime contractor.

Still under construction are the southbound lanes from the Freya/Francis area to Farwell Road and the Parksmith Road Interchange. Those sections of the NSC are slated to be completed later this year. The Francis Avenue Bridge project is next up for construction with work expected to begin later this summer.

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More construction projects getting started

As the weather improves, our contractors are getting busy.
A paving and culvert replacement project will begin on State Route 21 near Curlew. This job should get rolling in mid-June with about 15 miles of asphalt paving and a new box culvert across Curlew Creek. When the culvert is under construction, vehicles will be limited to one lane of alternating traffic with a temporary signal system in operation.

The annual chip seal contract is also getting underway. The contractor is starting with some sidewalk upgrade work in the Town of Rockford and will swing into full operations with over 150 miles of highway work later in June. This project also includes additional work in Oakesdale, Wilbur, and Fairfield. As always, with the chip seal work, drivers need to pay close attention and observe the speed limit advisory signs, especially when there is loose gravel on the roadway.

Contractors are also working on the US 195/Cheney-Spokane Road to I-90 camera installation and message sign project and on the North Spokane Corridor between Francis/Freya and Farwell with the southbound lanes construction and the Parksmith Road Interchange.
Also, as we mentioned last month, work continues on the I-90/Sunset Hill project and the I-90/Sullivan to Barker job.

Please remember to drive carefully in the construction areas and remember, traffic fines are doubled within work zones. You can keep track of our projects by visiting our weekly construction update web page.