Design provides new gateway to Airway Heights
By JAMES EIK
The $3 million realignment of Sprague Avenue is nearly complete, with only superficial work remaining.
Brandon Haugen, manager of Kalispel Development with the Kalispel Tribe, said the project was a joint effort between the city of Airway Heights and the tribe, and finished right in the expected timeframe of the summer of 2012.
“The tribe and the city have worked for years to establish another gateway element into the city of Airway Heights and this region. This was one way to do that,” he said.
Taylor Engineering designed the roadway, which includes a roundabout. Eller Construction provided the manpower during the building phase, which began earlier this year. Currently ongoing is the removal of some of the old Sprague Avenue.
“We were able to develop this road together to create a gateway for future economic development purposes as well as improving safety conditions at the existing intersection,” Haugen said.
When presented to the Airway Heights City Council in May of 2011, representatives from the tribe said the road would be able to handle large trucks. Those trucks would service light industrial areas, big box retailers and other mixed-use retail proposed for the site.
A 60,000 square-foot warehouse facility will be on site for the tribe. Over the next few years, the tribe hopes to attract potential land tenants now that the proper infrastructure is in place.
The realignment project also brings a new reclaimed water pipeline to the northern end of the city. The pipeline will be a major contributor to the city's proposed 70-acre park along Deno Road. Reclaimed water is meant to be used for irrigation in the city, and will provide the park with a body of water to help recharge area aquifers.
Airway Heights also provided new water and sewer service lines in their portion of the project.
The Kalispel Tribe and Airway Heights have partnered on previous projects, Haugen said.
“The city and the tribe worked hand in hand in getting this project developed,” he said. “It turned out as a successful partnership.”
Aside from funding provided by both the tribe and the city, a number of grants and political support helped throughout the process.
“This is very exciting, and we're very thankful for the funding provided by federal grants and the support received by local legislators,” Haugen said. “The efforts are shared in the economic development of this area with all of the local jurisdictions.”
James Eik can be reached at email@example.com.