It’s that time again, schools are wrapping up their year, the sun is shining, and construction crews are working hard to improve, revitalize, and restore our communities infrastructure. On the East most boundary of Emerson-Garfield, work began in May on another exciting project that is taking form in a 1.4 million-gallon concrete, underground storage tank in park land to the east of TJ Meenach Drive, below Northwest Boulevard. This project includes stormwater ponds, new landscaping, underground infrastructure, and new paved pedestrian pathways.
While most of the work will have limited impact on traffic, the project does require multiple pipe connections that will require a closure of TJ Meenach from north of the bridge to Northwest Boulevard. That closure is scheduled to go into effect July 10 and last through the end of August, a SEVEN WEEK CLOSURE. The city has communicated that project MUST be completed by September 11, 2017. Traffic will be detoured onto Pettet Drive, which was recently resurfaced, then to Maxwell to the Maple/Ash Corridor. Please keep this in mind when planning your commute to work or your summer day of leisure.
TJ Meenach Drive connects both Emerson-Garfield and Audubon-Downriver Neighborhoods to people, places, and organizations including but not limited to the following:
Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute
Spokane Falls Community College
Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP)
Spokanimal’s Dog Park at High Bridge
Highbridge Disc Golf Course
And many more
Come September, this project will help prevent overflows from combined wastewater and stormwater sewers from entering the river. In some parts of the City, wastewater and stormwater sewers are linked together and during periods of heavy rain or rapid snowmelt, these pipes can become overwhelmed and overflow to the river. Tanks like this store the excess water until the storm surge subsides and the water can be sent to the Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility for treatment.
All of the work is part of the City’s Cleaner River Faster initiative. The City is investing more than $300 million in projects to improve water quality in the Spokane River. The Cleaner River Faster initiative also encourages the City to include above-ground benefits when completing underground infrastructure work. In this case, that emphasis will result in the new pedestrian trail and overlooks.