SPOKANE, Wash. — Starting Monday, the next phase of the Thor-Freya construction project will begin so drivers should be prepared for new detours.
The complicated project began back in March. Kirstin Davis is the Communication Manager for the City of Spokane. She says the Thor-Freya project has several phases.
“There are 37 different traffic plans involved,” said Davis. “There are seven different phases that happen concurrently. So, this has been a really large endeavor for our crews, and we are eager to get it finished up this year.”
Now the intersection of Freya and Hartson will be closed to traffic and traffic will be rerouted. All traffic will detour down 8th. This next phase of the project is focusing on water-lines and underground utilities work. The city is asking drivers to be patient and expect new detours.
For businesses in the area, it's been hard to be patient. James Forsyth works at The Store on Thor. He says the construction project has been brutal for business, especially when Thor was shut down
“We were easily losing thousands of dollars of revenue," said Forsyth.
In addition, they've had to lay off the 13 drivers they hired in the pandemic to help with their beer delivery service, and the owner had to take out a loan to keep the doors open.
Forsyth sums it up by saying that doing business during the pandemic was easier than doing business during this construction project. He also admits that now business is better since Thor reopened and is now operating as single lanes of traffic in each direction.
"The customers that used to come to us are coming back and we're getting even new customers," said Forsyth.
But business is not back to normal.
"The one thing that's still hurting us a little bit is the I-90 corridor,” said Forsyth.
Davis says the project is set to wrap up in the next 45 days, which puts the wrap-up date in November. According to the City of Spokane, the project's wrap-up date is listed in October of 2022. So, that means the project is wrapping up a little later than expected.
This isn’t the first delay in the project. Forsyth says the city did not open Thor as stated.
"I had to hear from the construction people that there were delays or nothing from the city.” Said Forsyth.
Davis says they have an email list that sends updates to 85 businesses in the area.
"One of the main focuses of this project is because of the kind of traffic that this corridor gets, it's heavy freight. it's very high traffic and it's heavy traffic,” said Davis. “So, concrete was going to be the best long-term solution, and that takes longer. So, pouring concrete for that entire section is really what's going to give this a long-term solution."
Davis says that this is just a bump in the road and at the end of the day it will provide a smooth commute.
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