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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I90 Project Starts March 28

For those of you who commute to Spokane for work or school, a warning that a project to widen I-90 in the Spokane Valley starts on March 28, so you may want to leave a little earlier to get where you're going.

The Interstate 90/Sullivan Road to Barker Road widening project will add a third lane in each direction through this 2.8-mile section of I-90. Crews will remove the existing asphalt pavement then rebuild the highway with a more durable Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) surface.

This section of the freeway was built in the 1950's, when traffic volumes were significantly lower. The plan is to continue widening the freeway, in stages, to Liberty Lake and eventually the state line, as funding becomes available.

Besides moving more vehicles, this widening helps to move freight more efficiently. Traffic will flow freely through the project with two lanes in each direction during most of the construction. Crews will build temporary pavement and lanes, so all the freeway traffic can use one side of the existing highway.

Drivers will need to be alert as they travel through this section. The lane width will be reduced from 12 feet to 11 feet and shoulder width will be only two feet. The speed limit will be reduced for the duration of the project.

Construction on the $15 million project should be complete by late fall.

Keep watching here, because all of the agencies that deal with transportation in the area are coordinating on a campaign to keep congestion to a minimum this construction season. I'm hoping to be able to tell you more next week.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.