Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, No Phone Number Available
Friday, December 18, 2015 at 2:20 p.m.
Quietly, in the midst of our week-long power outage following the Nov. 17 Windstorm, the City of Spokane was honored by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Local Programs office and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Our state and federal transportation partners dubbed a project to extend the Centennial Trail the “Best City Project” in the state of Washington for 2015.
Officially called the Centennial Trail Gap – Summit Boulevard, the project provided a 0.6-mile extension of the Centennial Trail to the west of a trail connection built by Greenstone Corporation through Kendall Yards. These two trail projects together replaced a confusing network of streets that served as an interim trail connection to the west from Riverfront Park.
The work truly enhanced a great regional attraction. The Centennial Trail has some 2.4 million users annually, and its popularity continues to grow.
Every year, WSDOT and FHWA grants awards that are designed to recognize excellence in innovative practical design and construction, environmental sustainability, and community engagement. And WSDOT reports that the City's trail project was selected because of “the effective community engagement and private partnerships that achieved a cohesiveness of travel through the downtown area, enhancing the regional bike and pedestrian transportation system.”
The project was paid for using FHWA Surface Transportation and Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality funds and was matched by City dollars.
More work on the Centennial Trail is planned soon. Construction of a large concrete tank to help keep wastewater from combined sewers from overflowing to the Spokane River is scheduled for Pettet Drive—known as Doomsday Hill to Bloomsday runners—in 2016. This project will provide an opportunity to improve the trail from Summit Boulevard to the TJ Meenach Bridge and will help keep our citizens and visitors moving.