Several projects this summer will widen and repave State Highway 53 from Hauser Lake Road to Rathdrum, with the first work zone of the season expected to start slowing down traffic on Monday, April 10.
“Many drivers take SH-53/Trent Avenue to commute back and forth between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene as an alternative to I-90, so we want drivers to plan extra time to get where they need to go,” Project Manager Steve Nettleton said.
Two lanes will remain open during construction, but once construction begins next week speed limits will be reduced and the lanes will be very narrow.
Drivers should be familiar with this work zone, as widening first began last year to add a center turn lane on the two-mile stretch starting near McGuire Road and continuing through Bruss Road.
Last year crews added temporary pavement to the south side of the highway to keep two lanes open during construction this year while they build the base of the new lane to the north. Crews will also reconstruct the existing two lanes of SH-53.
By the time construction ends in September, drivers can expect new right turn lanes and lighting at the intersections of McGuire Road, North Church Road, Bruss Road and Hauser Lake Road. An acceleration lane at Cloverleaf Road will help drivers get up to speed and merge with eastbound traffic.
Since this project overlaps with future plans to build an interchange at Pleasant View Road in 2028, minimal improvements will be constructed near the intersections of Pleasant View Road and Hauser Lake Road at this time.
“The goal of this project and future ones is to make the highway safer by providing turn lanes for drivers,” Nettleton said. “Drivers won’t have to be worried about being rear-ended as they wait to turn left off the highway.”
By late summer drivers will pass through another two work zones between Hauser Lake Road and Rathdrum. Other widening projects scheduled near the city in 2023 and 2024 and the state line in 2027.
For a list of projects this summer, visit itdprojects.org/sh53corridor.
“Over the next few years, anyone who takes SH-53 will get used to seeing orange barrels,” Nettleton said.
The department also plans to fund a project at the next opportunity to build similar improvements to the four miles between Bruss Road and Latah Street. If funded, all of SH-53 would eventually be three lanes from the state line to Rathdrum.