Nov. 04--The drive into Spokane International Airport has become much greener in the past two years.
The airport is in the middle of a three-year effort to install huge new beds of trees, shrubs and flowers, as well as a trail.
Hidden Rivers Irrigation & Landscaping of Spokane is finishing a $313,000 contract to install landscape beds along Airport Drive this year.
Last year, the Spokane Airport Board awarded Clearwater Summit Group of Spokane a $661,000 contract for the first phase of landscaping southwest of Spotted Road.
Much of the landscaping fills the open space between the inbound and outbound legs of Airport Drive.
"It looks great," airport spokesman Todd Woodard said.
There's one feature that people might not see as they speed past the newly landscaped median area: a gravel walking trail.
The pathway runs three-quarters of a mile from Spotted Road to the first parking lot approaching the terminal. It's a good location to watch planes take off or land at the northeast end of the main runway. The area retains large sections of natural habitat as well.
The landscaping around the trail includes conifer and deciduous trees, wildflower plants and shrubs. Some of the trees are lit at night with spotlights.
Closer to the terminal, the landscape beds become large drifts of mixed materials.
The third and final phase of landscaping is planned for next year.
Funding for the landscaping came from the airport general operations money derived from leases, concessions and other sources.
In addition to the landscaping, the airport board approved $174,000 for sidewalk work at the airport, Felts Field and Airport Business Park.
Drivers headed toward Snoqualmie Pass are going to see congestion relief as pass construction work finishes up for the season.
Evening rock blasting and short-term safety closures have ended for the year.
However, one lane of traffic in each direction will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday through the segment of Interstate 90 being widened east of the pass.
Bridge work continues between Ellensburg and Easton, where lane restrictions are in place.
--Construction of a new Convention Center hotel is going to force closure of Spokane Falls Boulevard from Bernard to Washington streets starting Wednesday and continuing through Nov. 15.
--At Kendall Yards, work to develop a new street connection will force closure of one southbound lane on Monroe Street at Bridge Avenue starting today and continuing through Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
--The Centennial Trail loop on the north side of the Spokane River at the Red Lion River Inn will be closed today through Nov. 29 for work on the boardwalk section east of Division Street.
--Rockwood Boulevard reconstruction from Cowley to Southeast Boulevard and Upper Terrace Road from Rockwood to 17th Avenue is largely finished.
--The downtown bike trail network is being expanded along Fourth Street from Division to McClellan streets.
--In Spokane Valley, Adams Road from Trent to Wellesley avenues remains closed through Friday for sidewalk work.
Copyright 2013 - The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.
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