Local News

City of Spokane working on first phase of Sprague Avenue rebuild

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane is working on the first phase to rebuild Sprague Avenue.

The City says the upgrades will include bumpouts, landscaping, pedestrian lighting, and utility replacement.

"It's kind of hurt our business some, but we're doing all right there's not much really you can say because you have to do," said Tara Ellsworth who works at Zip's.

Zip's is in the heart of this construction on Sprague. Customers can get to the business using the back way, but Ellsworth says they've seen a drop in business since the construction started.

"It's not really an inconvenience for us [who work here], but the customers, they have to take the back way to get here," she explained.Down the block, BeLinda LaBounty at Boyd Walker Sewing Machine Company welcomes the changes.

"At first we were kind of intrigued by it all, and now as it's progressing, we're getting very excited actually because the outcome is going to be so beautiful," she said.

She says so far, the construction hasn't affected them too much.

"Our customers...they have learned to come to the back door on 1st Avenue," she said, "we still have a lot of customers coming in for service on their sewing machines."

She thinks an upgrade to the road will mean an upgrade to the Sprague Business District.

"We get new sidewalks, traffic lights, paving, we get the big lamp posts that have the baskets that hold flowers," she said. "We've been pretty positive about it because the outcome is just going to be so phenomenal and will bring in more traffic, bring in more people."

And while it's a hassle to navigate now, these businesses hope their customers will keep coming throughout the construction season.

"We're still open," Ellsworth said. "We're open from ten to nine, people still need to come down."

The City of Spokane is taking a new approach this construction season. The City has broken the East Sprague project into two phases. The first phase should last about three months.

Phase Two will run from Napa to Helena.