[Vision2020] Stimulus Funds Offer New Life to Well-Traveled Highways

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Mon Jun 29 05:46:45 PDT 2009

Courtesy of today's (June 29, 2009) Spokesman Review.


Stimulus funds offer new life to well-traveled highways

A series of state highway projects worth more than $20 million is about to
get started in northeast Washington as a result of the federal economic
stimulus plan approved by Congress earlier this year.

Regional Administrator Keith Metcalf of the state Department of
Transportation said, “Most of the stimulus money we received in this
region was for highway preservation and for safety.”

The governor’s office estimated that the money will support 250
construction jobs in a sector of the economy that has been hit hard by the
current recession, Metcalf said.

State Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, said the money being spent by DOT is in
addition to $10 million in stimulus funds going for locally-based road
projects. While none of the projects is large like the freeway work now
going on in Spokane, they are essential to preserving sections of highly
traveled highways, he said.

The two largest projects are repaving on intercity routes north of
Spokane, including a 12.5-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2 between state
Highway 211 and Newport in Pend Oreille County. Inland Asphalt won a $5.2
million bid for that job.

The other large project is repaving of 29 miles of U.S. Highway 395 from
Loon Lake to Immel Road just northwest of Chewelah. The repaving there has
been divided into two contracts, with Central Washington Asphalt of Moses
Lake the winning bidder for a $5.4 million job on the northern 22.3 miles
of highway. Knife River of Colville is getting a $1.7 million
contract for the southern portion.

The repaving jobs will include upgraded guard rails, signs, rumble strips
and other work.

Lower oil prices and a competitive construction environment resulted in
bids coming in below estimates, allowing the DOT to increase the number of
projects that can be financed with stimulus money, Metcalf said.

One of those additional projects involves anchoring concrete pavement
panels on U.S. Highway 195 through Latah Valley in southwest Spokane. A
contractor is going to be hired to set steel dowel bars to connect the
panels so they cannot settle or buckle, a job that is intended to preserve
a smooth driving surface there.

Other projects are:

•Repaving Mount Spokane Park Drive from U.S. 2 to Bruce Road.

•Installing radio advisory systems at Sherman Pass on state Highway 20 and
Hatton Coulee rest area on U.S. 395.

•Adding centerline rumble strips on U.S. 2 from Fairchild Air Force Base
to the Lincoln-Grant county line; on U.S. 195 from Dry Creek Road to
Spangle; on U.S. 395 from Loon Lake to Colville; and on state Highway 902
both northeast and southwest of Medical Lake.

•Erect a pedestrian bridge and trail on U.S. 2 through Wilbur.


The roads certainly look smoother ahead.

Huh, Visionaires?

Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change
and the Realist adjusts his sails."

- Unknown

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