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North Spokane Corridor Project

Photo courtesy of WSDOT

Photo courtesy of WSDOT

This project improves mobility by allowing motorists and freight to move north and south through metropolitan Spokane, from I-90 to US 395 at Wandermere. Once complete, the NSC will decrease travel time, fuel usage, and congestion, while improving safety by reducing collisions on local arterials.

When complete, the North Spokane Corridor will be a 60-mile per hour, 10.5 mile-long north/south limited access facility; that connects to I-90 on the south end (just west of the existing Thor/Freya Interchange) and connects to existing US 2 (at Farwell Road) and US 395 (at Wandermere) on the north end.

Interchanges will be built at locations along the corridor, to include: Trent Avenue (SR 290), Wellesley Avenue, Francis/Freya Street, Parksmith Drive, US 2, and US 395 at Wandermere.

The project consists of three phases as follows:

I-90 East and West from Hamilton to Fancher, and I-90 and existing NSC North to the Spokane River

I-90 east west

click to enlarge

This section is commonly referred to as the ‘collector/distributor corridor’.  Currently property acquisitions are underway from willing sellers and acquisition began in the SE quadrant in July 2011

Spokane River to Francis

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The project extends North of the Spokane River and terminates at the Francis interchange.  Refinements to the existing designs from the Spokane River to the Francis Interchange have resulted in project savings of over $300 million dollars.  Limited right-of-way acquisitions are currently underway.

The environmental reevaluation for the Spokane River to Francis section will be completed in 2011.

The Spokane River to Francis is further divided into 6 segments, allowing WSDOT to complete the project in phases as funding is secured.  This section includes the following projects:

Project One: Francis Interchange
Project Two: Rowan North, which includes grading, structures and BNSF realignment.
Project Three: Euclid to Rowan, including grading, structures and BNSF realignment
Project Four: Wellesley Interchange
Project Five: Wellesley to Francis, including grading, paving and structures
Project Six: Spokane River to Wellesley, including grading, paving and structures

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Francis/Freya Interchange North to US 395

This project will construct a new highway on new location.   A total of 8 projects were funded by the 2003 “Nickel” Legislative Transportation Funding Package.  Six are complete and open to traffic (light blue).  It is anticipated that the last 2 contracts (in pink and pedestrian path in dark red) will be completed in late 2011 or early 2012.

For the Tiger Grant funded projects, construction began in 2010 on the NSC-Freya Street to Farwell Rd Southbound additional lanes project.  This 2 year project will complete the southbound lanes between Francis/Freya and Farewell Interchanges; by constructing 3 additional lanes, and seven bridges and roundabout.  The NSC and Parksmith interchange is also being constructed and the project could be complete in 2012.

We were told by WSDOT that property acquisition has resumed in the Francis to Market area and we’re waiting clarification regarding what this additional property will be used for.

Property Acquisition and Attorney Fee Recovery

Because this is a public use project, WSDOT will have eminent domain authority to acquire property if negotiations can not be reached.

When the government makes you an offer, it will tell you that it represents fair market value.  It may even show you an appraisal.  But be aware, appraisals can vary, and the government’s may be a low one.  If you reject the government’s offer, it still has to pay you that money, and this does not jeopardize your right to get more money in the eminent domain hearing.

Oftentimes, a property owner will only receive just compensation by allowing condemnation to occur. In condemnation, an owner can show that the rules for highest and best use will produce a higher price than the amount offered by the government.

If you pursue a claim for additional compensation, you should know that in Washington, attorney’s fees and costs may be paid for by the government if the judgment awarded at the trial exceeds the highest written offer by at least 10 percent (WA 8.25.070).

Links:

Washington Eminent Domain


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