North Spokane Recovery Act project under way

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Ground was broken on the North Spokane Corridor, an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded construction project that will create jobs and enhance safety for all drivers in the region. Recovery Act dollars totaling $35 million will pay for a portion of a 10.5 mile-long freeway connecting Interstate 90 on the south end to existing U.S. 2 and U.S. 395 on the north end.

“Creating jobs and strengthening infrastructure is exactly what the Recovery Act is meant to do,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new segment of the North Spokane Corridor will help keep drivers safe and support local and national trade.”

Once completed, the project will add 3.7 miles of southbound lanes on U.S. 395 from Francis Avenue to Farwell Road in Spokane to complement the existing northbound lanes. These new lanes will allow trucks to travel north and south, keeping them off local roads. The project will relieve traffic congestion and provide a safe bicycle/pedestrian trail connecting Spokane neighborhoods and other trail systems.

The grant is part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program included in the Recovery Act to promote innovative multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.

Of the more than $26.6 billion in Recovery Act highway dollars available nationwide, Washington received nearly $492 million for highway projects, excluding TIGER grants. As of Aug, 27, the state had funded 221 projects, with73 projects under way and 131 completed.