Jeff Humphrey

Spokane Paves Way for Economic Recovery

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Friday, October 16, 2020 at 9:15 a.m.

The City of Spokane has come up with a plan to repair our streets while helping our local economy.

“So we invested an additional $10 million to be spent over 2020 and 2021 for additional street maintenance work. That’s the grind and overlay work, that’s the chip seal kinda work, and we determined all the work should go out to the private sector,” explained Marlene Feist of the city’s Public Works Department.

The city awarded the work to private companies like Inland Asphalt and Shamrock Paving in the hopes of keeping more employees on the payroll longer.

“Well, we were gonna have an early shutdown this year and it has helped us stay open, probably another month and a half,” predicted Scott Willms, General Manager of Shamrock Paving.

Prolonging the paving season means extra work for subcontractors, like people who do traffic control.

Crews have more money to spend on everything from work gear to groceries.

The additional city spending will also allow both Inland and Shamrock to keep their asphalt plants fired up longer than normal.

“Working longer into the season, they get their health benefits to carry through the winter that way and without it, they might be suffering next spring, Willms said of his employees.

The $10 million investment was part of recommendations from the Mayor’s Economic Recovery and Stimulus Task Force.

“Typically, $1 million in public construction investment equals about 10 to 20 very good paying jobs in our community. So this is more important now, than ever before,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said when announcing the maintenance projects.

So, what started as just a plan back in April has now paved the way more jobs and will almost double the number of lane miles getting grind and overlay improvements through 2021.

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