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Seasonal weight restrictions in effect on Spokane County roads

Seasonal weight restrictions in effect on Spokane County roads

 

Seasonal weight restrictions are in effect on many Spokane County roads and will continue until further notice.

 

Roadway surfaces, and the structures beneath the surface, have become weakened during this winter's cycle of freezing temperatures, followed by warmer temperatures and precipitation. As a result, roads are vulnerable to severe damage and the implementation of weight restrictions reduces the need for increased road maintenance and vehicle repairs later this year. The County said these changes can differ each year. This means that different roads may, or may not, be restricted and the time frame for implementing the restrictions.

 

Seasonal weight restrictions on County roads to begin soon

Seasonal weight restrictions on County roads to begin soon

Spokane County’s Engineering and Roads Department announced today that seasonal weight restrictions will begin within the next 1-3 weeks on county roads and continue until further notice.

Roadway surfaces and the structures beneath the surface have become weakened during this winter’s cycle of freezing temperatures, followed by warmer temperatures and precipitation. As a result, roads are vulnerable to severe damage and the implementation of weight restrictions reduces the need for increased road maintenance and vehicle repairs later this year. These changes can differ each year. This means that different roads may, or may not, be restricted and the time frame for implementing the restrictions.

State approves funds to upgrade 49 rail crossings in Spokane and Whitman counties

State approves funds to upgrade 49 rail crossings in Spokane and Whitman counties

State regulators approved funding for safety upgrades at 49 railroad crossings in Spokane and Whitman counties on Tuesday.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a Grade Crossing Protective Fund (GCPF) grant at the request of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). WSDOT owns the railroad line and contracts with Washington & Idaho Railway (WIR), which operates over the tracks.

WSDOT will receive $12,250 to replace cross bucks and cross-buck posts, install or replace yield and stop signs, replace multiple track signs, and install reflective tape at the public crossings.

Two Spokane County bridges to receive replacement funding from WSDOT

Two Spokane County bridges to receive replacement funding from WSDOT

This week, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) selected 32 city and county projects that will replace, remove, or repair structurally deficient bridges. These projects are in line to receive more than $70 million in federal highway funds. 

Two Spokane County bridges made the list: The Ritchey Road Bridge over Deep Creek will receive $1,490,321, and the Monroe Road Bridge is set to receive $1,200,837. These funds will go toward the replacement of each bridge.

According to WSDOT, these investments will improve and preserve critical, locally owned transportation infrastructure.

“Approximately half of these bridges are beyond the point of repair and need to be replaced,” said Kathleen Davis, WSDOT Local Programs director. “And by repairing and preserving the other half, we are adding many years of operation to their lifespans.”

TRAFFIC ALERT: Vantage Bridge on I-90 closed

TRAFFIC ALERT: Vantage Bridge on I-90 closed

A multi-vehicle accident involving an estimated 15 semitrucks and 6 cars has prompted Washington State Department of Transportation to close part of Interstate 90 in central Washington.

I-90 westbound is closed at milepost 136 near the Vantage Bridge over the Columbia river, and eastbound at milepost 115 near Kittitas.

Drivers are being detoured onto local roads. There is no estimate for a reopening time. 

The collision occured just after 11 am eastbound near milepost 127.

Escalating crisis in Iraq driving gas prices higher

Escalating crisis in Iraq driving gas prices higher

The tensions in Iraq could soon be hitting your wallet at the gas pump as experts predict gas prices could hit $4 a gallon and possibly more if the situation doesn't deescalate.

A stay-cation might be a wise option this summer as gas prices are starting to rise.

"This time of year you starting to get into driving season, vacation season and those kinds of things and I think notoriously prices start rising up," Jim Redmon, president of Divine Corporation said.

Washington state has the 4th highest average for a gallon of regular unleaded at $3.94 a gallon. In Spokane the average is 20 cents lower at $3.74.

"It's unfortunate that it gets to be that high but you gotta do what you gotta do, you got to get from A to B, I'm going to pay to what ever it goes to because I gotta get around," Kenneth Lower said.

"It's pretty sad, pretty ridiculous, it's already hard enough to pay this much money, especially if you have to drive a lot," Teresa Hankins said.

The fact is, rising violence in Iraq could lead to rising prices at the gas pump.

Troopers crack down on distracted drivers

Troopers crack down on distracted drivers

Click it or Ticket ran from May 19 to June 1 and netted nearly almost 600 citations between Spokane, Whitman, Pend Oreille and Ferry counties.

A statewide campaign since 2002, the focus has shifted from seatbelts to other issues with drivers behind the wheel.

"We focus on the distracted driving violations. texting, talking on your cell phone," said Trooper Greg Birkeland of the Washington State Patrol.

Why is it important? Birkeland says it's important for drivers to remember they are behind the wheel of what he calls a 2,000 pound killing machine.

"If you are not in complete control things happen in a split second," he said.

Since the campaign started, seat belt use in Washington has gone from 82-percent to 97-percent, one of the highest in the country. During the two-week campaign an additional 370 extra patrol hours are put in on a round-the-clock basis.

"We have certain areas that we target, and typically they are the congested areas," Birkeland said, adding that seat belt and texting violations can be some of the most difficult to spot.