City of Spokane begins construction project on Riverside Avenue

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Starting Monday, the city of Spokane started rebuilding Riverside Avenue from Division to Wall Street, giving it new sidewalks and adding a bike lane.

The construction project is expected to last six months. It will be spread out into three phases to minimize the impact on local businesses.

However, these businesses are not entirely happy about the project.

“It’s a boom. Also, right now, it’s horrible for our situation,” said Emily Holloway, General Manager of Hunt and the Redband room.

Holloway’s business is located on Riverside Avenue right in between Bernard and Browne. Holloway is frustrated about the construction as they are just getting out of the pandemic.

“We opened about eight weeks before the pandemic shut everything down, so in the last two years, we opened about a year,” Holloway said.

The construction is adding another hurdle to their sales, especially on the weekdays.

“People don’t tend to want to go down where there’s a lot of construction,” Holloway said.

But why is the city of Spokane launching the project now?

“Our networks of pipes and water pipes and all different things. It’s better to do that all at the same time than tearing things up twice,” said Kirstin Davis, Communication Manager of City of Spokane.

In addition to fixing the surface, the city plans to add bike lanes and bus stops for STA buses.

The Glen Down Academy of Hair is on Riverside between Washington and Bernard. Manager Sandy Hobbs is trying to figure out how her clients will be able to get to the salon during the construction.

Typically, they have free parking, but with the streets closed, no one can get to the parking lot.

“We do have free parking for clients, now I see Washington and Riverside is closed, so maybe I’m hoping to change local businesses to allow them to come in this direction so they can use our parking lot instead of pushing our clients away,” Hobbs said.

However, for the end result, Hobbs says it will be worth the wait.

“It has a new look. If it’s repaired, it’s going to attract more people. I think it’s going to be. It’s well worth it,” Hobbs said.

The city of Spokane says they don’t know how long each phase will take, and it will depend on the supplies.

READ: Riverside construction project begins with first phase of road closures