Paving begins on Lincoln and Monroe as Main Ave reopens

Paving begins on Lincoln and Monroe as Main Ave reopens

SPOKANE, Wash. - While the city closes the book on one downtown project, another one still has a way to go.

Construction season is officially over on Main between Browne and Division, but just a few blocks west there is still a lot of work to be done.

Today was the first of three scheduled days of paving this month and the city's Lincoln and Monroe Street projects.

Saranac bartender Megan Severson couldn't be more pleased with the city adding over 20 parking spots in front of her Main Avenue restaurant.

"I think parking downtown has always been an issue. And it's really nice, they threw it together really quickly, and with all the extra businesses popping up around town, it's nice to have the extra 20ish parking spots," said Severson.

But while the city put an exclamation mark, complete with a raffle drawing, on one downtown project, another is months away from an opening ceremony.

Friday marked just the first day of paving on the Lincoln and Monroe street projects, in what is seen as a large step in an otherwise frustrating process for local owners.

It's a frustration not lost on councilman Breean Beggs, who has a message to his fellow Spokanites.

"Two things, one—keep speaking up and being heard, because the only way to be heard is to keep speaking the truth to us. And second, hang in there. It's going to be the best downtown in the northwest when we're done."

Beggs' optimism is shared by 24 Taps owner Josh Blair who was thrilled to see the paving process begin.

Blair said that, "it's a huge breath of fresh air. They're going to be going from one lane, to maybe three or four lanes. We'll get a little more traffic, people coming towards us and not away from us, so it's really exciting."

Friday was the first scheduled paving on the two downtown thoroughfares. Weather permitting, two more are scheduled this month before the snow falls on the 9th and the 16th, when the lilac city's project will shut down for the winter.

Today on Main, instead of a ribbon cutting they had a ribbon connecting ceremony, to show the unification of downtown commerce. Councilmen Beggs expects a similar ceremony this May on Lincoln and Monroe.