Since early March, construction has been underway on Mission Avenue, two blocks north of Gonzaga’s campus, in the Logan Neighborhood where many GU students reside. The roadwork has caused headaches for many Zags and forced them to take alternative routes to and from campus.
Marlene Feist, director of strategic development for public works in Spokane, said it will be completed by mid-May, with the westbound lanes currently finished.
“It is a grind and overlay, which means we’re taking off the first couple inches of pavement and replacing that,” Feist said, “We’re also doing work replacing some of the catch basins and putting in ADA ramps on the sidewalks between Hamilton [Street] and Division [Street].”
She added that they recently finished the westbound lanes, making them open for use, and expect to start working on the eastbound lanes as early as this week.
In the meantime, Feist said the official detour route students can take is Indiana Avenue, three blocks north of Mission Avenue.
Annie Stanger, a junior who lives in the area, said that the construction, from a broader perspective, is a good thing.
“I think the pavement on Mission Avenue has been, up until now, really poor and it’s really hard for me. I’ve been really nervous to drive my car sometimes just because there’s so many potholes in it,” Stanger said.
Despite the benefits the construction is bringing, Stanger said it has been an inconvenience not being able to use Mission Avenue because it is the road she often takes to get to school and work.
“I can still get around pretty easily, I just have to go down Hamilton [Street] for a while,” she said. “And I think it probably just takes me like an extra minute on my commute. It is a little inconvenient, but I think in general, it’s worth it.”
Despite being able to use Hamilton Street, Stanger said that she thinks the road is not ready for all of the extra traffic and has noticed over the past couple weeks that it has been getting backed up due to the traffic lights being slow.
Besides the construction on Mission Avenue, Feist said there will be construction on Sharp Avenue after graduation where they will start a project to rehabilitate and put in storm water management from Pearl Street to Hamilton Avenue.
“So we’ll replace the pavement, put in new landscaping and use a variety of firm water management techniques including pervious pavements all along that section,” Feist said.
Matthew Kincanon is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @MatthewKincanon.