First, the bad news: Spokane Valley drivers are likely to encounter plenty of orange cones and detour signs over the next few months.
The good? A smoother ride and a stronger roadway well into the future.
On Tuesday, the council unanimously approved the first phase of a round of road-improvement projects in the amount of $631,000 to Spokane Rock Products Inc. The company’s low bid came well under the city’s estimate of $1.02 million to get the work done.
The money will pay for new paving on Vista Road from Nora to Mission avenues, Fourth Avenue from Dishman-Mica to Farr roads, and Dishman-Mica from 16th Avenue to Schafer Road.
Steve Worley, senior capital projects engineer, told the council that on the last project, the intent was only to pave the driving lanes, not the center turn lane.
“In the center, that pavement is fine,” Worley said.
The work is part of a $2.8 million package of street-preservation projects approved by the council in March. So far, the city has $2.6 million either spent for roadwork or bid to contractors. Work done thus far or in the works has included Appleway from Argonne to University, Farr from Appleway to Sprague, University from Fourth to 16th, University from Sprague to Appleway, Barker from the Spokane River to Trent Avenue and Boone Avenue from Long to Barker.
There is a total of $4.45 million available for street-preservation projects.
Worley said the idea is to do the most amount of work possible with the amount of money that is available.
“We’re trying to do the best we can to spread this money to as many projects we can,” Worley said.
Council Member Chuck Hafner said he’s been impressed by what he’s seen so far.
“I think that it’s great,” he said.
Council Member Arne Woodard said that he believes the council is achieving its goals when it decided to set a percentage of the city’s ending fund balance for 2011 for street preservation.
“I think we’re getting what we asked for,” he said. “We’re getting further ahead and getting the most bang for our buck.”
The council will not meet on June 19. The next formal meeting will be on June 26.