Friday, October 26, 2012

North Spokane Corridor Traffic Increases With Completion of North Half

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) says, now that the north half of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC) is fully completed, drivers are using it more, with traffic counts nearly triple since the first segment was opened in 2009.

About 11,000 vehicles per day travel on the nearly 6-mile long route. That’s up from less than 4,000 per day in 2009.

Completing the northern half of the NSC helped speed up north/south freight traffic in the Spokane metro area. Drivers on the US 395 corridor now cut up to 20 minutes off their travel time by using the NSC, then connecting to the Market, Greene and Freya route. Drivers only encounter 11 traffic signals instead of plodding along on Division Street through 29 signalized intersections and countless business approaches.

With the north half of the 10-mile corridor complete, the first construction project in the south half of the NSC got started in early October, the Francis Avenue Bridge Replacement project. The next project in the pipeline is the rail relocation and trail extension job in the Hillyard area. These are the only projects currently funded for construction.

To date, about $615 million has been allocated for the NSC. An additional $1.3 billion is needed to fully fund all of the remaining work to build the full facility from Francis to I-90. Engineers are working on less costly interim configurations to create a drivable link through the remaining 5-mile section.


Anonymous said...

I think that's an awesome idea.. focusing on interim designs to speed up the project to connect to I-90. But do we really need that Children of the Sun trail right now? Why not use the money that we are using to build that, and put it into the nsc freeway to I-90 to speed things up perhaps a little bit?

SRTC Staff said...

There are a couple reasons we can't just forget the trail for now- it satisfies federal requirements for transportation facilities such as the NSC and trails like this cost so little to build that skipping it and putting the money toward the freeway wouldn't be enough money to move things on the actual freeway along faster. When all constructed, the trail will be a good resource for people wanting to ride their bike, then jump on the bus, allowing them to leave their cars at home. I get this question on occasion, so you're not the only one thinking it.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.