The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) says, now that the north half of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC) is fully completed, drivers are using it more, with traffic counts nearly triple since the first segment was opened in 2009.

About 11,000 vehicles per day travel on the nearly 6-mile long route. That’s up from less than 4,000 per day in 2009.

Completing the northern half of the NSC helped speed up north/south freight traffic in the Spokane metro area. Drivers on the US 395 corridor now cut up to 20 minutes off their travel time by using the NSC, then connecting to the Market, Greene and Freya route. Drivers only encounter 11 traffic signals instead of plodding along on Division Street through 29 signalized intersections and countless business approaches.

With the north half of the 10-mile corridor complete, the first construction project in the south half of the NSC got started in early October, the Francis Avenue Bridge Replacement project. The next project in the pipeline is the rail relocation and trail extension job in the Hillyard area. These are the only projects currently funded for construction.

To date, about $615 million has been allocated for the NSC. An additional $1.3 billion is needed to fully fund all of the remaining work to build the full facility from Francis to I-90. Engineers are working on less costly interim configurations to create a drivable link through the remaining 5-mile section.

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