US 395 - North Spokane Corridor

Project news

2019 North Spokane Corridor Projects

  • A project to build the mainline freeway bridges over Freya Street, north of Francis is wrapping up. And, a contract to complete the NSC from Columbia Ave. to Freya Street, including the completion of the interchange at Freya Street is underway.
  • Long-term temporary closure of Wellesley Ave. Wellesley Ave. between Market St. and Freya St. was closed Nov. 21, 2019. The closure of Wellesley Ave. will last three years. The newly constructed Wellesley Ave. interchange is expected to open near the end of 2022 (view animation). Travelers should expect both temporary and permanent road closures as NSC construction north of the Spokane River commences next year. 
  • Concurrent with the Wellesley Ave. interchange project, additional work, and projects being completed are:
    • NSC from Carlisle Ave. to Wellesley Ave.
    • Realignment and relocation of the BNSF railroad track to make way for the future NSC mainline alignment from Rowan Ave. to Cleveland Ave.
    • Construction of a bridge over Euclid Ave.
    • Construction of the accompanying Children of the Sun Trail, and the pedestrian-only bridges and amenities associated with the shared use trail from Columbia Ave. down across the Spokane River.

Quick Reference

Current Emphasis

Extend the corridor to I-90 and provide a connection to the Interstate. This practical design allows the use of the full length of the corridor and can be opened in sections as construction progresses south. The final series of construction projects have begun and will continue until the entire facility is completed in 2029. Approximately $879 million in funding will complete and connect the NSC into I-90 through the Connecting Washington package passed by the legislature in 2015.

Why is WSDOT building the North Spokane Corridor?
Originally conceived in the mid-1940s, this project improves mobility by allowing motorists and freight to move north and south through metropolitan Spokane, from I-90 to US 395 at Wandermere. Once complete, the NSC will decrease travel time, fuel usage, and congestion, while improving safety by reducing collisions on local arterials.

The NSC is considered a multi-modal corridor; as a freeway, it maximizes vehicle capacity and contributes to freight hauling competitiveness, by moving vehicles and freight traffic away from local arterials and on to a free-flowing freeway. It supports alternative transportation choices by providing: for future park and ride lots, vanpooling operations, reserves enough right-of-way for high capacity transit and provides a pedestrian/bicycle trail along its full length.

The End Result
When fully complete, the North Spokane Corridor will be a 60-mile per hour, 10.5 mile-long north/south limited access facility; that connects to I-90 on the south end (just west of the existing Thor/Freya Interchange) and connects to existing US 2 (at Farwell Road) and US 395 (at Wandermere) on the north end.
Interchanges are located along the corridor, at: Trent Avenue (SR 290), Wellesley Avenue, Francis/Freya Street, Parksmith Drive, US 2, and US 395 at Wandermere.

Needs & benefits

Consider the following benefits:

  • Travel time between Wandermere and I-90 will be shortened to approximately 12 minutes.
  • The NSC is a free-flowing freeway facility that doesn’t conflict with schools, parks or shopping areas; but still will have reasonable access to them.
  • Fewer trucks will be on the local arterials because they will be using the freeway for north and south destinations points.
  • Spokane will have cleaner air because drivers won’t be stopping and idling at intersections.
  • Provides a safe bicycle/pedestrian trail that connects to the Centennial Trail and other established trail systems, as well as neighborhoods within the Spokane area.
  • The NSC creates jobs that will improve the economic vitality of the region.
     

Timeline

  • In April 1997, the NSC Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). In September 2000, a supplemental FEIS was approved for the Spokane River north to US 395 at Wandermere section.
  • In August of 2001, the North Spokane Corridor broke ground with the first construction project titled “Hawthorne Road to US 2 - Grading”. This was a grading and drainage project that was completed in July 2002.
  • In 2003, the State Nickel Gas Tax Package allocated $321 million to fund the project between 2003 and 2011; this allocation provided funds 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. This allocation provides funds for right-of-way acquisitions 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 $28 million in 2009).
  • On August 22, 2009, the first Nickel Project, Francis to Farwell (between the Francis/Freya and Farwell Interchanges) opened to traffic. 
  • The 5 1/2 mile north half of the NSC is fully completed and open to traffic in October 2012.
  • The first project for the south half, the Francis Avenue Bridge Replacement project began construction in late 2012 and was fully opened to traffic in June 2014.
  • The Connecting Washington package, passed by the Legislature in 2015, provides full funding to complete the North Spokane Corridor.
  • Groundbreaking of 2nd BNSF Railroad realignment project took place on September 27, 2019.

Funding

Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) = $158,435,000
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel) = $292,614,000
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) = $92,478,000
Special Cat. C = $69,272,000
Connecting Washington  = $879,900,000

Total Funding = $1,491,699,000

Contact

Bob Hilmes, Design Project Engineer
WSDOT Project Office
2714 N. Mayfair
Spokane, WA 99207
Phone: (509) 324-6089
E-mail: hilmesb@wsdot.wa.gov

Map depicting the route for the future US 395

3D rendering of the future US 395 at Wellesley Interchange

Future NSC US 395 Wellesley Interchange visualization. (Above) Looking North along NSC US 395. The Wellesley Interchange will consist of roundabout ramp terminals to expedite the traffic flow through the interchange.
View more photos on Flickr

Current project paving Columbia to Freya on the North Spokane Corridor

Current construction on the future US 395 from Columbia to Freya St.  (May 20, 2019)
View more photos on Flickr