**Press Release from Washington State Department of Transportation**
SPOKANE – The new Parksmith Road interchange opened to traffic on Tuesday, Oct. 2, marking the completion of the first half of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC) just north of Spokane. In late August, the Francis to Farwell/Southbound Lanes project also wrapped up, meaning more than five miles of the planned 10-mile corridor are open to traffic.
"We have reached a long-sought-after milestone," said Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Administrator Keith Metcalf. "We're now only five miles away from linking the NSC with Interstate 90."
Completing the northern half of the NSC will help speed up north/south freight traffic in the Spokane metro area. Truckers on the US 395 corridor can cut up to 20 minutes off their travel time by using the NSC, then connecting to the Market, Greene and Freya route. Drivers will only encounter 11 traffic signals instead of plodding along on Division Street through 29 signalized intersections and countless business approaches.
A brief ceremony was held to celebrate the milestone. The event will be held on the new Parksmith southbound freeway on-ramp. A parade of classic cars will be the first vehicles to use the new interchange. The event can be accessed from Market Street or Hawthorne Road. The event is open to the public.
Contractor crews working for WSDOT built more than three miles of new southbound freeway lanes, bridges, and interchange on/off-ramps between Francis and Farwell Roads near Mead, including the new Parksmith Road interchange. The work included two new pedestrian/bicycle bridges and Children of the Sun trail connections.
Graham Construction and Management of Spokane was the prime contractor on the Francis to Farwell project, and Max J. Kuney Company of Spokane was the prime contractor for the Parksmith Interchange project. Funding for these projects came from the $35 million American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act, TIGER Grant.