WSDOT Wellesley Closure

SPOKANE, Wash. - After nearly 60 years in the making, the time has finally come to start work on the North-South Freeway in north Spokane's Hillyard neighborhood.

A map provided by the Washington Department of Transportation shows a small section of Wellesley Avenue will be closed for the next three years.

Drivers will be able to use Francis and Euclid to get from one side of Market street to the other. But there's a two-mile stretch which is now a no-crossing zone.

When there's a fire or a medical emergency, every second counts, so KHQ's Peter Maxwell asked Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer what the plan is.

"What happens now that we're actually seeing these streets close is the information shared within the organization. It's updated our computer-aided dispatch, and always we always send the closest unit to every incident," Chief Schaeffer said.

Chief Schaeffer said they're ready and they've been preparing for this day to come for years. So as fire units are mobile and responding to the scene, the computer in the truck will update and show the driver the road closure and will re-route the responding units to the fastest available route as necessary.

The Washington Department of Transportation said there is a detour route for when Wellesley is closed that the city approved for emergency services.

"There is a lot of communication that goes back and forth between streets, between the state. We make sure that all of these projects are coordinated fashion, so it does not impact response time and access," Schaeffer said.