I-90 heavy traffic warning for Friday

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By BRIAN WALKER

Staff writer

POST FALLS — If traffic at the state line gripes you now, Friday will be worse yet.

Nine rock concerts at the Greyhound Park and Event Center from 2:30 to 10:30 p.m. will compound traffic delays on Interstate 90. Westbound traffic is already delayed due to one lane being closed for construction.

The two headliners, Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold, will perform at night.

Doug Okuniewicz, director of the Greyhound Park, said he expects traffic will be particularly congested following the concerts for an hour and a half to two hours. Traffic in the afternoon should be spread out more due to attendees showing up at different times.

"There's not a sense of urgency to get there at the same time," he said.

A security company will provide traffic control and local police agencies will have extra patrols during the peak times on Friday.

"We're taking a lot of steps to reduce problems, but people will still get caught in it so we're trying to warn them to give themselves extra time," Okuniewicz said. "A big increase in traffic is going to happen."

Okuniewicz said he'll request that the Washington Department of Transportation temporarily open the closed lane on Friday night, but realizes that likely will not happen.

Okuniewicz said he expects about 7,000 tickets to be sold for the concerts. Bob Dylan recently drew about 4,000.

Okuniewicz said noise from concerts at the park generally draws some complaints from residential neighbors.

"We're trying to run a business, but at the same time being sensitive to everybody's concerns and needs," Okuniewicz said. "We try to keep them as early as we can, have done tests and tinkered with the stages to try to keep the sound down. We try to cut deals for charities to raise funds here, so we try to be good corporate citizens. This is part of the tradeoff, and we apologize if it bothers anybody. Hopefully most people are happy that we bring the events to town to enjoy."

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