SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Wednesday evening, at a public meeting, Spokane Valley presented two options for realigning Pines Road to create an underpass below the BNSF Railway tracks south of Trent Avenue.
"This is an intersection that accommodates 17,000 vehicles a day," explained Spokane Valley Engineer Gloria Mantz. "There's 56 trains everyday - and it's anticipated by 2025 it's going to increase to 125."
To improve safety and reduce traffic congestion, the $20 million underpass will replace the at-grade railroad crossing on Pines Rd. In addition, the at-grade BNSF crossing at either University Rd or Vista Rd may also be eliminated.
Based on the average number of minutes the railroad crossing gate is down, it's estimated that 162 minutes per day of vehicle wait time will be eliminated. Removal of the at-grade crossing also eliminates the need for trains to sound horns at the affected intersections, making the adjacent neighborhoods quieter.
The timeline of the project isn't clear - but a final design of the project is expected to be released next year.
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