The new, 10.5 mile North Spokane Corridor (NSC) provides an efficient route for thousands of travelers and freight-carrying trucks passing through Spokane daily by taking this traffic off local arterials. The NSC improves safety and supports transportation choices with park-and-ride lots, high-capacity transit plans, and several trails connecting with the adjacent Children of the Sun pedestrian/bike path.
Engineers originally designed a segment of the NSC that crosses under a railway as an eight-lane freeway, with a median carpool lane, and a lowered section requiring deep retaining walls. It also required large bridges, walls, and additional right-of-way. Using the practical solutions approach – the right investments, in the right locations, at the right time – the design team has reduced the NSC project cost by $850 million through the following changes:
- Collaborated with the railway on a new practical design that raised the elevation of the NSC and realigned the railway tracks, decreasing the bridge footprints and retaining wall needs.
- Reduced the 50-foot wide median to a barrier-divided highway, decreasing bridge footprints and retaining wall needs through much of the corridor.
- Used roundabouts at one major interchange to reduce cost and footprint.
- Revised transportation growth models to allow decreased lanes and simplified Interstate 90/NSC interchange design.
WSDOT is also engaging with the community through “placemaking,” – an integrated, practical solutions approach to urban planning and community building – where special places are incorporated into the design of the NSC and Children of the Sun Trail.
NSC has been awaited for decades. With the first 5.5 miles operational, the NSC is scheduled for completion in 2029. As WSDOT continues to plan, refine, build, and engage the community, it’s anticipated that the NSC and Children of the Sun Trail will be a source of pride for future generations.
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