Construction work on a new interchange at the Cheney-Spokane Road/US 195 intersection swings into action this week with a groundbreaking today, Thursday, March 14.
The $11 million project will result in a diamond-shaped interchange that removes at grade exits and entries in favor of four new ramps linked to a bridge spanning four-lane wide US 195. Selland Construction crews have begun preliminary site work, mainly grading, with construction completion estimated for later this year.
Residential development south of the interchange in Spokane and the county have increased traffic volumes along the stretch of 195 from Hatch Road into Spokane, and as a result increased potential for accidents, including a 2009 collision that claimed the life of 16-year-old Cheney High School student Lorissa Green. The accident resulted in residents and community leaders coming together to lobby Olympia for funding to provide fix to the intersection, initially creating a separate off ramp for southbound traffic.
“The project is a result of residents, community leaders and elected officials working together to get the needed funding to build the facility,” Washington State Department of Transportation Eastern Region administrator Keith Metcalf said in a news release.
WSDOT officials are warning motorists that construction work will have a high-impact on travel along US 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road beginning this week. Drivers should be alert for lane restrictions on Cheney-Spokane Road at US 195, with flaggers directing traffic.
The southbound off ramp will be closed for removal, with drivers being advised to watch for slowing traffic as drivers make right turns off US 195 onto Cheney-Spokane. The US 195/Inland Empire Way intersection will be closed, with all Inland Empire Way traffic directed to use Thorpe Road. The closure is permanent in order to accommodate the new northbound Cheney-Spokane on ramp.