SPOKANE, Wash. — As the weather continues to warm up, the city of Spokane's communications manager, Kirstin Davis, said more construction projects will begin.
Monday, the Thor and Freya reconstruction project began and slowed down drivers. Davis said drivers will have to adjust to some different operations around that area as the project is estimated to finish at the end of November.
“The first week to ten-days is always a little more chaotic," Davis said. "But, as time goes on, people will find their alternate routes and navigate around it."
For South Hill drivers, Thor and Freya are major access points to downtown and I-90.
Phase one of the seven-phase project closed the Thor/Freya eastbound exit.
One driver said her boyfriend uses Freya to commute to work and predicts he may have to budget out an 15 extra minutes to consider alternate routes.
“When Freya closes down, we have to usually take Regal and it takes a long time to get down the hill,” Michelle McDaniel, Spokane resident said.
Another driver from out of town said he wasn't expecting so much traffic on his way to a lower South Hill coffee shop.
“I was like wow, it was supposed to be like a quick 30 second drive and I was like okay I guess I’m going to hang out in traffic for a couple minutes," Tyler Samse said. "It reminded me of Seattle like that level of traffic.”
The city is encouraging drivers to be flexible with road changes.
One driver said he sat in traffic for 10 to 15 minutes before using a side street.
Davis said it's a good idea to think about ways to navigate around traffic, but drivers should expect to see others doing the same.
“So while you may think you might be saving time, there might be other people on the same routes you’re also thinking as an alternate too,” Davis said.
Davis said 32 different traffic plans were created for the $8 million project.
Drivers will eventually see the Thor/Freya westbound exit close and Thor and Freya operating as two-way streets to allow for crews to work on each road.