Increased Investment in Public Infrastructure to Assist With Recovery

Marlene Feist, 509.625.6505

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 12:45 p.m.

The City of Spokane is adding $10 million in street work to be done during 2020 and 2021 to aid the community with economic recovery. Additionally, the City is moving ahead with its planned 2020 construction program, which includes about $70 million in public infrastructure construction to improve streets, protect the Spokane River, and invest in the City’s critical water and sewer systems. 

As part of those efforts, the City is working on an approximately $18.5 million construction contract for replacement of the Post Street Bridge—the largest single project the City will launch this year.

And today, the City’s Street Department is beginning its annual grind and overlay work, with work started on Northwest Boulevard. With traffic down significantly around the City, the Street Department will focus first on streets that normally have high traffic counts to reduce the inconvenience on commuters when the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is reduced or lifted. And the Parks Department is continuing work on projects in Riverfront and Manito Parks.

“Public infrastructure construction is an important component of our economy in any year—but City construction work is especially important now as we work to address significant economic challenges resulting from our work to slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Mayor Nadine Woodward. “We will be putting dollars to work to put community members to work.”

The additional investment is part of recommendations from the Mayor’s Economic Recovery and Stimulus Task Force, a group convened by the Mayor to focus on economic recovery.

The additional work will be focused on street maintenance and include grind and overlay projects, chip seal work and crack sealing. All the work, except for the crack sealing, will be contracted out to the private sector. The projects will be spread throughout the City, with streets selected because of pavement condition, traffic volume, and ease of design. New projects will be announced soon.

Projects will require safety plans that include direction to disinfect equipment, achieve social distancing, and set clear guidance for activities that require people work more closely together.

“We need to help our community recover,” says Council President Breean Beggs. “Additional street work—supporting all transportation options—will make a difference now and in the future.”

Besides the project to replace the 103-year-old Post Street Bridge, the 2020 work includes:

  • A project to upgrade signals and add dedicated left-turn pockets on the Hamilton corridor from North Foothills south to Desmet.
  • The second phase of work on the South Gorge Trail project in Peaceful Valley, helping to complete another leg of the envisioned Great Gorge Loop Trail. With this phase, the new trail will run from Sandifur Bridge to Redband Park
  • Completion of final work on the CSO 26 tank next to the Downtown Library. This work is scheduled for dry weather in July and August and will include pipe work in Lincoln between Spokane Falls Boulevard and Main Avenue.
  • A variety of projects planned on the City’s drinking water system, including the installation of a new reservoir and upgrades to a well station.

One project has been delayed to a future year as a result of the COVID-19 response—work to reconstruct East Sprague Avenue from Division east to Grant. This is a complicated project with considerable rock and work under the BNSF railroad viaduct at Division. With uncertainty created by the COVID-19 response, it is likely that this project wouldn’t be completed on time.

Additionally, some work will be postponed to later in the season, including work needed to accommodate the North Spokane Corridor, which is part of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s shut down of work, and a couple of sidewalk and ADA ramp projects because this work requires people to work in close proximity.

Meanwhile, the Street Department’s arterial street maintenance work for 2020 includes:

  • Third Avenue from Arthur to Stone.
  • Nevada from Sharpsburg to Magnesium.
  • Northwest Boulevard/Indiana from Maple to Monroe.
  • Wellesley from Pittsburg to Haven.
  • Wall Street from Garland to Wellesley.
  • Regal from 39th to 46th avenues.
  • Lindeke from Sunset to 13th avenue.
  • Post from Maxwell to Sinto.
  • North Foothills.
  • Hamilton from Desmet to Indiana.