- The North Spokane Corridor (NSC) is a 60-mile per hour, 10.5 mile-long limited access facility, linking I-90 on the south end, to existing US 2 and US 395 on the north end.
Idea conceived in 1946.
- Ranked 19th of 80, on the Congressional High Priority Corridor List for the National Highway System.
- Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was approved in April 1997.
- Supplemental FEIS was approved in September 2000, for the area from the Spokane River north to US 395 at Wandermere.
- I-90 to Spokane River, Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reevaluation was approved in May 2005.
August 2001, Corridor Groundbreaking Ceremony took place and the first construction project; Hawthorne Road to US 2 Grading started and was completed in July 2002.
- March 2004, the first Nickel construction contract started. A total of eight contracts were funded by the 2003 “Nickel” Legislation. Currently, six contracts have been completed and two are under construction.
On August 22, 2009, the first Nickel Project, Francis to Farwell (between the Francis/Freya and Farwell Interchanges) opened to traffic. It is anticipated that the second Nickel Project, US 2 Wandermere & US 2 Lowering (between the Farwell and Wandermere Interchanges) will be open to traffic by late summer 2011. Upon completion approximately 5.7 miles of the NSC corridor will then be operational.
- Design efforts are underway from the Spokane River to the Francis/Freya Interchange. Refinements to the existing design have resulted in approximately $330 million dollars in project savings. Depending upon funding, construction could begin as early as 2012, completing an additional three miles of the corridor.
- July 2009, right-of-way purchases began in for the section between the Spokane River and Francis/Freya Interchange.
- Right-of-way purchases continue along the Interstate 90 corridor. A noise wall construction project is scheduled for advertised bids in 2014.
- $35 million dollars in “shovel ready” work has started. The first project “US 395 NSC-Freya St. to Farwell Rd. – Southbound Lanes” is currently under construction. This two-year project completes the southbound lanes between the Francis/Freya and Farwell Interchanges. It constructs three additional concrete lanes (3.7 miles of divided highway), five highway bridges, two pedestrian-bike bridges, extend the pedestrian-bike path in the Freya vicinity to include a trailhead parking lot and a roundabout at the southbound off-ramp at Freya. Construction started Summer 2010 with an anticipated completion dated in late 2011 or early 2012.
The second project “US 395 NSC – Parksmith Interchange” is under design, with an anticipated Advertisement Date of May 2011. This project will build the interchange at Parksmith. Work includes: construction of on-and-off-ramps for access to-and-from Parksmith Road, reconstructs the Market/Parksmith intersection and provides a new signal system, Portland Cement Concrete Pavement (PCCP) paving, southbound on-ramp bridge, ramp illumination, extends the pedestrian-bike path, installs signing and striping.
- Project costs for the work between the Spokane River and the Francis/Freya Interchange are approximately $370 million. Construction contracts could be staged to provide an interim drivable section for approximately $250 million, with the ability to expand (in the future) to the ultimate design.
- Estimated remaining project cost: $1.3 billion (currently unfunded) in 2010 dollars. Value includes the “shovel ready” work and the Spokane River to Francis/Freya Interchange segments.
- With a 20-year build out plan, the project cost is approximately $1.9 billion including risk and inflation. These values are subject to price escalation due to market trends in commodities (oil, steel, concrete), construction costs, real estate prices, etc. For this reason, WSDOT will continue to use independent risk assessment teams to verify the estimate.
In 2003, the State Nickel Gas Tax Package allocated $321 million to fund the project between 2003 and 2011; for design, right-of-way purchases and construction of the Francis to Farwell and the US 2 Wandermere & US 2 Lowering projects.
In 2005, the State 9.5 cent, Transportation Partnership Act (TPA) gas tax allocated $152 million to fund the project between 2007 and 2019. For purchasing right-of-way north and south along I-90, between the Liberty Park Interchange and the Sprague Avenue Interchange, for the future Collector/Distributor System and to design and construct a noise wall project along this same section of I-90. This allocation also provided funding to design the “shovel ready”, southbound lanes project between the Francis/Freya and Farwell Interchanges.
In 2009, the Washington State Legislature allocated an additional $28 million in TPA funds for the corridor. WSDOT chose to use this funding in the Hillyard area, from the Spokane River to the Francis/Freya Interchange. This additional $28 million allocation brings the total TPA funding for the corridor to $180 million ($152 million in 2005 plus this $28 million).
- In 2009, the Washington State Legislature allocated $28 million for right-of-way purchase and design between the Spokane River and Francis/Freya.
- Creates or saves an estimated 10 jobs for each $1 million spent, which includes jobs on the project, jobs generated by the production of materials and including the ripple effect of other employment in the community.
- The US 395 corridor carries over 7.2 million tons of freight ($13.5 billion) annually through Spokane. Between 1993 and 2003, freight shipments on US 395 have increased 58%. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created expanded freight transport among Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
- Gas savings - estimated 1.7 million gallons of gas annually.
- Improves air quality by reducing regional emissions by 2.4 million pounds of carbon monoxide each year.
- Reduces greenhouse gasses by 15,000 metric tons of C02 equivalent.
- Improves safety by an estimated $22 million dollars per year in societal costs from collision reduction.
- Currently there are only two north-south trade routes through Spokane - both are on local arterials that run through neighborhoods, past shopping malls, schools, and parks.
- Reduces travel time by an estimated two million hours each year, computing to a dollar savings of approximately $28 million.
- Provides economic growth opportunities for adjacent commercial and industrial development.
- Supports alternate transportation options, by providing park and ride lots, reserving space for high capacity transit, and constructing a pedestrian/bicycle trail between I-90 and Wandermere.
- 1997 random survey throughout Spokane County showed 84% support of the North Spokane Corridor project, compared to a similar survey in 1973 with support of 57%.
- Written support from: Senator Patty Murray, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Former Congressman George R. Nethercutt, Jr., Spokane area Legislators, Spokane City Council, City of Spokane Valley, Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Deer Park, Ministry of Transportation - Province of British Columbia, Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors of America, Community Colleges of Spokane, Pend Oreille County Public Utility District, Bemiss Neighborhood Council, Association of Northeast Washington Mayors.