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Thor-Freya construction 'on track,' with big traffic swap now weeks away

Concrete shortages and rain have slowed work at times on the first section of the Thor-Freya project but the City of Spokane says it is 'on track' to finish on time.

SPOKANE, Wash. — For several months now, drivers have faced detours as the City of Spokane works to replace the roadway in the Thor-Freya corridor. Now, as work is wrapping up on the first phase of the project, we get an update from Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager for the City of Spokane.

What is currently being worked on and what’s next?

This section (where the couplet splits between Thor and Freya) is done. This week we are paving between 5th and Hartson. And then next week we’ll be doing those loose ends, making sure that the curbs are correct and all those sorts of things.

Then, it will take us about a week to do the traffic plan, to switch that over. So, we’re still a couple weeks away from doing the flip over to the other side.

How is new equipment helping with construction on the Thor-Freya project?

We were able to work with a big machine, called a Slip Form Paver. It’s mainly used for interstates, highways, and airport runways. It lays large, large, large sections of concrete. The concrete is going to be the game changer in this corridor because the kind of traffic it gets with the freight, it’s heavy, and then the volume of traffic is huge.

So, while this is taking a long time, the payoff is that we won’t have to shut this road down in the future for potholes as much and things like that.

We’ve had the challenges of concrete shortages, rain and concrete does not mix, and as everyone knows we’ve had a lot of rain this spring and summer. This section has taken longer, but because of that machine we’re able to do it much quicker than we would have otherwise.

When will the project wrap?

The entire corridor project will take the full construction season, but we are on track to do that. Even though this section took a little bit longer, we’re on track to do that.

Why are the many construction projects in Spokane happening around the same time?

We always have a construction season, obviously. This year we have $80 million in projects, which is one of our larger years. And some really high traffic areas.

We understand that it’s frustrating, but really want to remind people to use those detours as they are setup because it’s for everyone’s safety and it really helps with traffic flow. It may not seem like it when you’re in it but it really does help with it in the big picture.

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