Kirstin Davis

Long-Term Improvements Lead to Everyday Benefits

Kirstin Davis, Public Works Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 12:39 p.m.

Long-Term Improvements Lead to Everyday Benefits

Traffic detours can be frustrating and inconvenient. Sometimes the ‘why’ makes all the difference. Starting Monday, March 13, a portion of TJ Meenach Dr. will be closed for approximately five months. During this time, hundreds of thousands of drivers will be rerouted increasing their travel time to their destination.

This temporary inconvenience will be rewarded with generational positive impacts for the community. The TJ Meenach Street, Siphon, and Stormwater improvements project is the final stage of the City’s Cochran Basin Stormwater Management Facilities plan to help protect the Spokane River.

The Cochran Basin in northwest Spokane is a collection point for stormwater runoff that comes from areas as far away as Market St. and Francis. It is the largest stormwater basin in the City at over 5,000 acres in size and encompasses residential, commercial, and light industrial uses. Pollutants like motor fluids, landscape chemicals, sediment and other things make their way to this collection point.

Today, through technology, engineering, and materials; stormwater runoff can be managed to prevent these pollutants from reaching the Spokane River.

This project includes the construction of two stormwater treatment facilities, which consist of a series of swales and drywells to remove pollutants before they reach the River. When we use the term “facility”, it’s not what you may think – it’s not a building. It’s actually a technically engineered landscaped area with water features, tiered terraces, and vegetation that you probably don’t even know is working hard to clean up stormwater.

In addition to getting a cleaner river faster, we have worked hard to improve the above-ground recreation opportunities at the same time.

One of the new stormwater treatment facilities will also serve as a modern 18-hole disc golf course designed by disc golf experts. The other facility will include upgraded river access for non-motorized boats and a significantly enlarged parking area including stalls to accommodate trailers hauling rafts.

The final and maybe the most obvious bonus is the rebuild of TJ Meenach Dr. between Pettet Dr. and Northwest Blvd. which is in significant need of resurfacing.

On the surface, drivers will enjoy a smooth street to drive on that leads to recreational adventures. And underneath it all is a system protecting the Spokane River for generations to come.

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