Businesses gearing up for Monroe Street construction

Construction on one of Spokane’s busiest arterials is less than one week away.

The $8.7 million rebuild of the North Monroe corridor, slated to begin April 2nd, is expected to last for several months – putting a strain on businesses and the 17,000 drivers that pass through each day.

The project will shrink the busy corridor from five lanes to three – making room for wider sidewalks and more street parking. The city’s goal is to revitalize the business district and make it safer for pedestrians.

Gina Campbell owns 1889 Salvage Company on North Monroe and said she’s onboard with the project that many neighboring businesses have fought tooth and nail to end.

“I think most people are in favor of the beautification and the improvements,” said Campbell. “The contention comes with the road diet.”

Construction means several months without cars on North Monroe – the bread and butter for shops along the 1.1 mile stretch between Indiana Avenue and Kiernan Avenue.

The city of Spokane is splitting the project into two phases – each phase will focus on two, four block sections. The city will keep one east-west route through each segment open while under construction.

Several businesses argue the project is unnecessary and will only congest the busy corridor after construction wraps up next fall – potentially causing some drivers to avoid the area altogether. The city of Spokane says the three lanes that will be constructed have proven to serve up to 24,000 cars a day without significantly impacting traffic.