Still not sure what’s happening with next summer’s Sprague Avenue reconstruction project? Clear your calendar next Wednesday night.
Spokane Valley Public Works Department staffers will hold their second open house Feb. 15 at Veradale United Church of Christ, 611 N. Progress Road, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Business owners are especially encouraged to come and ask staff questions regarding the plans, as well as share opinions and concerns.
Last week, Steve Worley, senior capital projects engineer, gave Spokane Valley City Council members the lowdown on what will happen with the repeated mantra of “we want to minimize the impact to businesses as much as possible.”
The project will involve the complete reconstruction of Sprague between Evergreen and Sullivan roads and is expected to take between 10 and 12 weeks this summer. While there will be the expected lane closures and other traffic delays, Worley said the contractor has been made aware that at least one existing driveway to all businesses is to remain open at all times. The only exception, Worley said, is the brief amount of time when asphalt is being removed and the temporary gravel access is being put in its place at access points.
“We’re talking about a 20-minute to 30-minute time frame,” Worley said.
Under the construction schedule, work would be done in four phases in order to avoid having to close off entire stretches of roadway for long periods of time. Traffic will always be able to get through on Sprague, however travel will be restricted to one lane each way.
Some council members advocated for a nighttime schedule for some portions of the work, which will be utilized when possible. However, during phases that involve digging into the old roadway, that work will be done during the daylight hours.
“When you do underground work sometimes you’ll hit something,” Worley said. “(At night) utilities are closed, part stores are closed – it ends up shutting everything down.”
While the initial public-awareness meeting last month was lightly attended by business owners, Worley said staff has already been through the corridor and contacting owners to let them know of the impending work.
“We did this over multiple days,” he said. “I’m assuming we didn’t get a ton of people at the meeting is because they already knew about the project.”
Roadwork should begin in the middle of May, and the council is supportive of a plan of offering the contractor a $5,000-per-day cash incentive for finishing early.
“Anything we can do to help those businesses is a good idea,” said Mayor Tom Towey.