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North-South Freeway connection to I-90 comes down to 2 proposed designs

WSDOT is asking the public to weigh two options regarding the North-South Freeway's connection to I-90.

SPOKANE, Wash. — How should the North-South Freeway connect to I-90? The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is asking the public to weigh two options.

"The Department of Transportation is more concerned about the flow on the freeway but we are advocates for flow of the neighborhoods," East Spokane Business Association President Barbara Woodbridge said.

Woodbridge passed out flyers Wednesday night, telling people to push for option one, which keeps many of the existing on and off ramps to I-90.

Option two would take away the eastbound ramp to I-90 from Hamilton. Traffic would be diverted onto 3rd Ave.

"It's going to push more of the traffic into the neighborhoods and cause more congestion in the neighborhood areas and as we know that's not safe," Woodbridge said. 

"I'm leaning toward item one, or option one, because I think that is better for traffic flow," Spokane resident Art Mell said.

Option two is also $27M more expensive, but officials say it could save drivers two minutes getting onto I-90 compared to option one. It also includes an additional access point to I-90.

Both options were discussed at a packed meeting Wednesday night.

"It's good to see the turnout," said project engineer Terrence Lynch. "It tells me how important it is. This is a significant project that a lot of people have been waiting for, for a long, long time."

People, including Mell, who has lived in Spokane since 1975.

"My ex-boss has told me many times that when this project is done, he's going to drive me through it," Mell said. "And I keep telling him I'll be dead long before that happens."

His son-in-law, James Faulkner, is more optimistic.

"What I took out of it is progress because we're seeing two options now," Faulkner said.

He's thankful WSDOT is taking the time to listen.

"It feels more thought out," Faulkner said. "If feels more like they're considering how it's going to truly impact this neighborhood. And why am I coming here? Because I'm in the neighborhood."

WSDOT is encouraging people to take an online survey to comment on the two options. Click here for the survey.

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