Final Touches On Second Avenue Will Likely Come Next Year - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Final Touches On Second Avenue Will Likely Come Next Year

SPOKESMANREVIEW.COM - Downtown construction headaches that have frustrated motorists and business owners could extend into next year.

City Engineer Mike Taylor said the Second Avenue project has run into complications partly because old, mostly unused vaults – sidewalk entrances into the basements of buildings – are unstable and must be torn out.

"We're running into a variety of things that have really been a challenge," Taylor said.

He said crews will push forward and the road will be paved and fully open when the 2010 construction season ends. But crews may have to come back next year to put down a final layer of pavement.

There's an upside to finishing next year: It allows workers to fix problems resulting from settling over winter, Taylor said.

Second Avenue west of Howard Street has been torn up since July. While the street has remained open most of the time, it has been reduced to one bumpy lane.

Some business owners say they're frustrated by the length of the project, which is scheduled to last into November. They also say they've been hurt by the misconception that the street is closed.

Scott Thompson, owner of the Chevron station at Third Avenue and Lincoln Street, said his business is down significantly because of construction.

"They're killing us, downtown," Thompson said. "They have done the whole job for the convenience of the contractor, not for the convenience of the general public."

Thompson said the contract with Inland Asphalt should have included an incentive to finish early and a requirement to work evenings and weekends.

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