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May 2013

Welcome to our May 2013 newsletter.

Keith Metcalf is on temporary assignment in Olympia with Mike Gribner as acting Regional Administrator
This month we get an update on the Sanpoil ferry vessel construction and terminal upgrade, plus information on upcoming highway construction work.

As always, 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: .

Mike Gribner
Acting Regional Administrator
WSDOT Eastern Region

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M/V Sanpoil vessel update and ferry terminal upgrade project

Assembly work continues on our new Keller ferry route vessel, the M/V (Motor Vessel) Sanpoil. The contractor, Foss Maritime, reports the pilot house is in place, hull welding is underway with the vessel electrical and drive systems getting installed.

The vessel will be put in the water for testing in mid-July and is scheduled to enter service on August 14th. A special ceremony is being planned for August 14th with details to be announced.

Another important component with the new vessel is the need to refurbish and upgrade the existing terminals to fit the new boat. To do this requires the terminals and existing ferry to be taken out of service for about 5 weeks. The contractor, Max J. Kuney of Spokane, will begin the terminal work on Monday, July 8. As noted above, ferry service will resume with the new vessel on Wednesday, August 14.

The final run for the current vessel, M/V Martha S., will be Sunday evening, July 7, after serving on the route for 64 years and 10 months.

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Francis Avenue work getting started

A major paving project is getting underway on SR 291/Francis Avenue. The WSDOT contractor, Shamrock Paving, will begin their work on May 28 in the vicinity of Royal Drive (Milepost 3.3) and work toward the Nine Mile area concentrating on sidewalk ramps and utility access adjustments in preparation for paving. The following week, they will work on sidewalk ramps to the east from Royal Drive toward Division.
On or around, June 6th, grinding and paving work should get underway in the northern portion of the project, from Royal Drive to the Nine Mile area. As the work continues through June, the contractor will move to the east toward Division Street. To reduce the effects on traffic, the grinding and paving work is only scheduled during evening and overnight hours.

Utility company work underway in the vicinity may also affect drivers. Avista Utilities has a major gas line project on Francis Avenue between Monroe and Madison Streets. Their work has Francis Avenue reduced to one lane in each direction, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through mid-June. This is not a part of the WSDOT paving project.

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I-90 Bridge Deck work coming up

We have several bridges on Interstate 90 that will be getting some deck rehabilitation.

The Paha Interchange on I-90, about four miles west of Ritzville is getting some attention beginning on Tuesday, May 28. Eastbound and westbound drivers should expect slower traffic in this area as the contractor, Mowat Construction, detours traffic around the freeway bridges via the off and on ramps. That short detour will help get the work done in just 10 days.

On June 4, the contractor will start on two I-90 freeway bridges just west of the SR 904/Four Lakes Interchange. There’s not an easy detour around these, so the crew will work on half of each bridge, reducing I-90 to one through lane in each direction for about a month. There will be a reduced legal speed limit of 60 mph for this project due to the close proximity of the work to passing traffic.

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Final work on Sunset Hill

The very last item on the I-90/Sunset Hill project in west Spokane is on the schedule. Beginning on or around June 7, the contractor will be installing the permanent, inlaid lane striping and some other minor shoulder items. The work is planned for evening and overnight hours, six nights per week, to reduce the effects on traffic. The project should go until about June 22.