It took a few tweaks, some citizen comment and an extra two weeks, but the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously agreed to revise plans for the extension of Indiana Avenue.
The bid for $1.05 million was granted to Spokane Rock Products, which will be 80-percent paid for by a Transportation Improvement Board grant.
After citizens concerns were voiced two weeks ago, Spokane Valley engineers went back to the drawing board to attempt to address some of the larger issues. Since March 22, city engineers worked with affected neighbors to come up with some solutions, which include:
- A 10-foot wide access point on the north side of Mission Avenue will be constructed to get to and from the trailhead at the Spokane River.
- A two-way access point will link the eastbound and westbound portions of Indiana near Appleway Florist.
- Infrastructure to install signal lighting for pedestrians will be put in place in the area of a roundabout at Flora and Mission.
The issue for access to the trailhead at Mission has been a particularly thorny issue, with river recreationists – including kayakers and fishermen – raising concerns that a way needs to remain open to the public indefinitely. Steve Bailey, who often uses that particular trailhead access, said the city must ensure that private development won’t close the area off in the future.
“It’s public property,” Bailey said. “Pay attention to the process, and please look out for the citizens.”
The issue of future work to be done at the Mission trailhead will be taken up by the council at its April 19 meeting. The city owns a 60-foot right-of-way at the access point that could be either paved or somehow improved in the future.
While many are now content with the overall scope of the project, some residents continue to be fearful of high-speed traffic and unwieldy traffic routes, however. The work extends Indiana east of Sullivan to Flora, and there is the possibility of additional development and condominiums in the future along the divided parkway. The idea, say city engineers, is to improve traffic flow from the north Greenacres area to Spokane Valley Mall. The work will also include the construction of sidewalks, curbing, gutters, bike lanes and drainage improvements.
James and Mary Pollard, north Greenacres neighborhood activists, said they hope the city will implement a new policy to keep citizens better informed of upcoming public works projects. Too many details of the Indiana project, they said, came to light just as construction is about to begin.
“I don’t believe it was an oversight,” James Pollard said.
In other news, the council unanimously agreed to award a $938,000 bid to Bouten Construction Company to begin work on phase 1 of the new Greenacres Park project. All five bids were significantly lower than expected; it had been thought the work would be closer to $1.5 million.
With the extra savings, Mike Stone, city parks and recreation director, said that additional work will be done at this time, including the installation of turf and irrigation, building a sand and water play area, adding a small shelter and substituting concrete for asphalt on the perimeter path.
“Suffice it to say, we’ve put together a really strong project,” Stone said. “We’re taking advantage of the economic climate with such favorable bids.”
Mary Pollard, who worked with the city on the design of the park, said she was pleased with the developments.
“I’m so thrilled about this project,” she said. “We’re so delighted. This is the best collaborative effort we’ve ever seen.”