SPOKANE, Wash. — Drivers should be prepared for delays and closures as the city of Spokane begins reconstruction of the Thor-Freya corridor. The rebuild is expected to take eight months and will impact travel on both the city roads and I-90.
The first of many closures begin on Monday, March 28 when the city will close the eastbound I-90 exit ramp at Thor-Freya. The off-ramp is expected to remain closed until mid-June. Drivers will instead need to use the eastbound Altamont exit while the off-ramp is closed. The eastbound on-ramp at Thor-Freya will still be open to drivers.
Thor Street will also be closed from Sprague to 5th Avenue, according to the City of Spokane. Two-way traffic in the area will be detoured to Freya Street.
The project is part of the city of Spokane's six-year comprehensive street plan. The Thor-Freya rebuild is expected to cost $8.9 million.
The city will be replacing asphalt streets with concrete on both Thor and Freya between Sprague and Hartson avenues. The city said the concrete will hold up better with heavy loads and higher traffic volumes. The city will also replace old water pipes in the area.
Monday’s closure is just the first of many to come over the next eight months. The city said it has broken the project into multiple phases to ensure there is still access to businesses but also said drivers should expect heavy congestion during construction.
As an example of what drivers can expect, the city stated, “when work occurs on Thor, Freya will have two-way traffic. When work occurs on Freya, Thor will have two-way traffic. The section of road being worked on will be fully closed to all traffic.”
The work on Thor-Freya is getting started at the same time the city will close the Hatch Road bridge at Highway 195 to replace the deck. The work will make it a challenge for people on the South Hill to access both highways.
Some drivers may be frustrated by the timing of both projects, but city officials say one of the factors it comes down to is weather.
"Six months is pretty much all the time we get,” said Kirstin Davis, City of Spokane communications manager. “We may get eight months out of the season, but, you know, we only have so many months out of the year, so they have to land at the same time to some degree."
“We know these projects will present our citizens with transportation challenges this year, however the long-term benefits include safe and more durable infrastructure,” Public Works Director Marlene Feist said in a written statement.
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