Proposals for the eventual Interstate 90 through Spokane included a corridor along Riverside Avenue and Main Street through downtown and a tunnel under South Hill among the current viaduct alignment south of downtown. The first portion of Interstate 90 completed in the Spokane area consisted of a five-mile stretch of the Spokane Valley Freeway from Custer Road (the former Havana Street exit) to Pines Road (Exit 289). A ceremony opened that stretch of freeway on Nov. 16, 1956. Two additional sections followed with completion in Spokane Valley before Spokane received its first segment in 1958.17 Costing $12.1-million, the freeway initially linked Sherman Avenue to Appleway near Liberty Lake.1 Interstate 90 was formally designated for the freeway on June 5, 1959.17
Delays for additional construction of Interstate 90 surrounded the lawsuit filed by Deaconess Hospital in 1963. Administrators contended that noise from the freeway would disturb patients and initially the suit was successful, but a June 7, 1965 Washington Supreme Court ruling overturned that decision, allowing crews to resume work on the viaduct, which opened officially on September 25, 1969.17
$62.5-million in road work expanded Interstate 90 between Havana Street and Argonne Road (Exit 287) as part of a four-stage project. The first phase redesigned the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Fancher Road to accommodate the new westbound off-ramp (Exit 285) from I-90. That work was finished fall 1997. The second phase of road work, started August 31, 1998, involved adding a third eastbound lane from the Havana Street on-ramp to Broadway Avenue (Exit 286) and rebuilding the Sprague Avenue eastbound off-ramp to eliminate a sharp curve. The new ramp eventually formed the eastbound beginning of the $18.7-million Valley Couplet project5 (completed October 11, 2000), which saw construction of a new four-lane roadway (Appleway Boulevard) east to match the conversion of Sprague Avenue into a four-lane westbound roadway. Further work eliminated the Havana Road westbound off-ramp and the loop ramp from Sprague Avenue east onto I-90 east, with motorists redirected onto a new portion of Theirman Road to the Broadway Avenue interchange.2,5
The third phase of the $62-million project included $22-million to add a lane in each direction of Interstate 90 between the Broadway Avenue and Argonne Road interchanges, including a new five-lane overpass for Park Road over I-90. $25-million in construction, beginning on October 14, 2000, accounted for the final phase of work, building of a westbound lane between the Broadway and Sprague Avenue interchanges and the addition of a new westbound off-ramp onto Fancher Road north.2 All work was finished by October 15, 2001.6
A loop ramp (opened June 2, 2002) was added to Interstate 90 west from Sullivan Road north at Exit 291B as part of a $1.8-million project. The project was similar to a $1.7-million addition of a loop ramp from Harvard Road (Exit 290) north onto I-90 west at Liberty Lake.3 These improvements coincided with construction of a new interchange (Exit 291A) with Evergreen Road by the 1997-opened Spokane Valley Mall. That work also included expanding Evergreen Road from a two-lane street into a five-lane arterial. The $23.4-million project was completed on May 4, 2001.4,7
Widening of Interstate 90 between Argonne Road (Exit 287) and Sullivan Road (Exit 291B) through Spokane Valley added a lane in each direction from August 2003 to November 15, 2005. The project cost $37-million.8,15 A $4.5-million project between 2007 and 2009 reconfigured the westbound ramps at Pines Road (Washington 27) to tie into parallel Indiana Avenue rather than Washington 27, 150 feet south of its intersection with Indiana Avenue. This followed work on the south side of the interchange in 1997.16.
The downtown Spokane viaduct of Interstate 90 was refurbished as part of a two-phase $13-million project in 2006 and 2007. $19-million in work to further expand Interstate 90 to six lanes took place between Sullivan Road (Exit 291B) and Barker Road (Exit 293) from March 28, 2011 to November 2011.19,21