When it comes to three lanes vs. four, there’s apparently no middle ground to straddle when it comes to restriping Broadway Avenue.
It may have fell off a busy agenda June 8, but the Spokane Valley City Council is poised next Tuesday to readdress the issue of converting Broadway to two lanes, with a center turn lane, from Pines to Park roads.
The topic has garnered plenty of discussion over the past several weeks as council members – Brenda Grassel, in particular – have requested the issue be put back before the council for possible suspension. If it happens, the city could lose grant funding for the work – which would cover 80 percent of the $933,000 cost – if it isn’t completed by the end of next year.
The issue isn’t new to the City Council. A year ago June, then-Mayor Richard Munson said the restriping plan – which would add bike lanes as well as add cutouts to the sidewalk to meet American Disability Act requirements – is “unnecessary” and would be better spent for patching potholes or for pavement management.
The issue passed 5-2 at the time, which Council Member Gary Schimmels championing the roadwork for safety reasons due to the six schools between Sullivan and Park roads.
“Four lanes are dangerous,” he said.
Schimmels has also said that giving the grant money back is “not good” and would set a bad precedent.
In the following weeks, during the “public comment” portion of the City Council agenda, it has not been unusual for there to be multiple comments – both pro and con – on the subject. Acting City Manager Mike Jackson has said the council has the option of delaying the work until next year rather than outright killing the project.
The council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. next Tuesday at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.
In other road construction news, the Barker Road Bridge may now be open – albeit with a 20 mph speed limit -- the Centennial Trail is still closed underneath, while the river access on the north side is also still closed until sometime in July.
City officials also remind motorists that the Sullivan Road/Sprague Avenue intersection reconstruction project has been pushed back until late July.
While the intersection will be closed for three weeks, there will be access to all businesses in the area through detours.
The Broadway improvements from Moore to Flora roads have also been rescheduled in order to keep projects from occurring at the same time. The work will include a roundabout at Broadway and Flora – which see the intersection closed for five weeks -- and the widening of Broadway to two lanes, a center turn lane and bike lanes.