South Hill detour frustrating residents, drivers

South Hill detour frustrating residents, drivers

SPOKANE, Wash. - Road construction on the South Hill at Ray Street is causing quite the headache for drivers as well as residents in the area.

Both lanes of Ray St. from 20th to 21st Avenue are closed for construction. The detour sign, if you're heading south, is just past the Fred Meyer. The problem is drivers see that detours sign on Thor but they also see an open road. It's not until they make it up the hill that they find out there's no where to go.

It's probably something we've all done. Waiting till the road is actually closed before finding a way around.

"When you look up the hill and you don't see any construction people are driving through," said Julie Happy with the City of Spokane.

Mary Margaret Brajcich lives on Mt Vernon Drive, about four blocks to the west of Ray St. off 19th Avenue. She says those drivers who wait to detour end up on her street.

"There goes another truck and another car of people that don't live on Mt. Vernon Drive," said Brajcich.

She says all kinds of vehicles get lost on her block.

"I mean trucks and semis. Here's a couple more coming right now," said Brajcich.

The city closed Ray St. at 20th Ave. to connect the sewer line to the combined sewer overflow. Which means drivers trying to sneak by have to go into the neighborhoods at 19th Ave. So if you come down Ray and decide to go right at the blockade, you're going to run into a dead end which means you'll have to go either right or left if you decide to go left trying to get around the detour, well then it takes you right back down to 19th which means you've only gone in a circle cause you didn't follow the detour.

People have been making that loop around Brajcich's home since Monday morning.

"It really didn't subside the whole day. It was amazing the things that came through here," said Brajcich.

Granted, the detour sign is at the bottom of the hill, which creates the illusion that the signs don't apply to anything.

"If you follow the detour sign at the bottom of the hill that's the best and safest route," said Happy.

But residents off Mt Vernon say more signage is needed.

"To say dead end or this is not going to get you to Ray or Trader Joe's," said Brajcich.

Construction will last another three weeks, Mt. Vernon residents hope they can last that long as well.

"The people are barreling through here. They are mad and frustrated and we're patient people we are a good neighborhood, we just want something done about it," said Brajcich.

The city says it will be putting up more signs to direct drivers in the right direction. Keep in mind this story is just focusing on southbound traffic on Ray St. You can imagine there are similar problems with people trying to get down from the South Hill headed north.

Your best bet is to follow the detour signs and allow yourself some extra time to get where you are going.