Small Town News


West Plains road work

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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Residents of the West Plains might want to adopt a sometimes used phrase to describe the philosophy of the Washington state Department of Transportation when it comes to driving around this summer — expect delays.

A number of road projects are on tap for the area, beginning in Cheney, which has four scheduled. The City Council awarded a $59,358 contract to Five Star Concrete at its May 10 meeting for removal and replacement of approximately 7,400 square feet of sidewalk along First Street between Betz and Mullinix roads.

Cheney Public Works Director Todd Ableman told the council the work would take place in several different areas, and was being done this year in order to be completed prior to WSDOT's repaving of State Route 904/First Street through the city in 2017.

Beginning in July, the northern access to Eastern Washington University will be the site of almost $800,000 in arterial preservation work on portions of Betz Road and Washing ton Street. Work on Betz runs from SR 904 to North Sixth Street, while the Washington Street work runs from Betz to Oakland Street, and will include grinding of the current pavement, ADA compliant upgrades and repaving of both arterials.

The city is receiving $493,400 in funding for Washington Street, and $302,900 for Betz Road from the federal Surface Transportation Program, amounts that are 86.5 percent of the project estimates. Ableman said the projects should go out to bid soon.

The city's fourth project is a similar preservation project for the Cheney-Spokane Road from SR 904 to the city limits. Ninety percent of that $405,000 project is funded through a grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board, with the city picking up the rest.

Ableman said they hope to have this project out for bid soon, with construction beginning in late-June to early-July and completion set for August.

"We've got to get everything wrapped up before Eastern starts," he added.

Medical Lake has three projects slated, all funded by $214,873 grant from the TIB. The work will be 1,000 feet of pavement on Broad Street from Lake to Barker streets, 600 feet of Howard Street from Fourth Street to Brooks Road, 1,200 feet of Sherman Avenue from Barker Street to the city limits and 1,000 feet of Spence Street from Washington to Hallett streets.

Airway Heights recently awarded a $474,085 contract to Shamrock Paving for an asphalt overlay of McFarlane road from Hayford to Craig roads, about two miles. Ninety percent of the funding for the project comes from a TIB grant, with the city covering the remaining 10 percent.

"I anticipate construction beginning in the middle of next month," Public Works Director Kevin Anderson said in an email.

Anderson also said the city's water reservoir at Sunset Park will get repainted, and that another street project, Garfield, Russell and Sprague Phase I is currently in design and could go to bid at the end of the year.

One project underway is a grinding and asphalt overlay of a portion of Hayford Road from 49th Avenue to about 2,650 feet of Thorpe Road. The work is the second portion of city of Spokane work on Hayford last year that ran from McFarland Road to near Thorpe.

"We're picking up where we left off and going to the city limits," Spokane Street Department Operations Engineer Andy Schenk said.

The project began Monday, May 16, with the grinding portion being completed. Schenk said that, weather permitting, they could see completion of the $400,000 project around June 1.

Spokane County also has local projects planned. According to information on the Public Works Department website, the county will be replacing a timber bridge on Ritchey Road near its crossing of Deep Creek, about six miles west of Airway Heights.

John McCallum can be reached at

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Original Publication Date: May 19, 2016

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