Spokane International Airport

From Interstate to Airways: Airport Drive and Spotted Road Safety and Multimodal Improvements Project

Project Benefits

  • Improves Surface and Aviation Safety
  • Enhances Freight Traffic Mobility
  • Accommodates Multimodal Access
  • Incorporates Traffic Growth and Promotes Economic Development
  • Reduces Greenhouse Emissions
  • Provides access to employees that live in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities (over 60% of Airport employees, including major employment centers at the Airport, live within the defined census tracks)
  • Resides adjacent to an Opportunity Zone per Housing and Urban Development

Project Description

The Spokane International Airport is applying for a United States Department of Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant for $22,800,000 to fund the construction of the From Interstate to Airways: Airport Drive and Spotted Road Safety and Multimodal Improvements Project.

The Airport, in partnership with several government agencies and various stakeholders including the City of Spokane, Spokane County, WSDOT, S3R3 Solutions (PDA), Cheney School District, Fairchild Air Force Base, SRTC (MPO) and the FAA, has developed a vision and design of a project that relocates Spotted Road outside the Runway Protection Zone for the Airport’s Primary Instrument Runway (3/21) and constructs a grade-separated interchange over inbound and outbound Airport Drive roadways. The project is on the MPO’s Regional Unified List for priority projects and supported by jurisdictional agencies and major employment centers around the Airport. The project was listed as a Project of Merit in the 2022 RAISE grant cycle and is also the Airport’s number one priority transportation safety improvement project. 

Spotted Road is a north-south collector roadway that begins at U.S. Highway 2, north of Airport Drive, and continues south connecting industrial and manufacturing employment centers between Airport Drive and Flightline Boulevard/Grove Road, with direct access to Interstate 90. Airport Drive is a five-mile-long east-west route that serves as an access corridor for traffic to and from the Spokane International Airport terminal as well as surrounding manufacturing, technology, aerospace and commercial businesses. It also serves as a direct connection between the Airport and U.S. Highway 2 and Interstate 90 for regional and multi-state traffic.

The current traffic on Spotted Road (approximately 2,600 vehicles daily) intersects Airport passenger and delivery traffic on Airport Drive (around 16,500 vehicles per day during the week and 14,000 vehicles per day on the weekend) with public transit, school buses, commercial, industrial, and cargo/freight traffic, and employees and travelers originating west of the Airport. These numbers are expected to increase as planning studies estimate commercial and industrial development along the Spotted Road corridor will add an additional 1,000 vehicles per day within the next 10 years as its growth continues, and the Airport is experiencing an annual growth of 10% in commercial air traffic and 8% in cargo air traffic.

The Spotted Road/Airport Drive intersections and geometry are considered dangerous from a crash rate perspective and improvements are necessary to enhance the safety of the traveling public. The combination of lower speed Spotted Road traffic trying to cross the higher speed Airport Drive Inbound and Outbound intersections has led to multiple collisions, many of which are serious injury accidents and even some fatalities. These problems, which continue despite installation of additional traffic safety measures, can best be resolved with a new grade-separated interchange that enhances traffic safety and modal connectivity, while also supporting continued passenger, freight and economic development growth in the region.


From Interstate to Airways: Airport Drive and Spotted Road Safety and Multimodal Improvements Project

Rendering of grade-separated Spotted Road Interchange over Inbound & Outbound Airport Drive