Nine months after Freya Street was closed for construction of a new bridge over BNSF rail lines, workers have been pouring concrete for the new deck surface.
Only two months are left until the project’s scheduled completion.
Last Thursday, workers smoothed out a major pour over a bed of steel reinforcing bar near the midpoint of the bridge.
Mild winter weather kept crews on track, said Darrel McCallum, project engineer for the state Department of Transportation.
“It’s shaping up pretty good,” he said last week.
That will be good news for inconvenienced drivers who have had to find detours around the important arterial that runs from Mead to East Sprague Avenue and Interstate 90.
Garco Construction of Spokane is handling the $6.4million project. Garco’s bid last year came in nearly $3million below an engineering estimate, largely because of declining construction material costs during the nation’s economic slowdown.
The roadway deck is resting on pre-tensioned, pre-cast girders built at the nearby Central Pre-Mix Prestress Co. plant.
McCallum said the project has required close coordination with BNSF Railway Co. so that workers could demolish the old bridge structures and pour new footings and piers adjacent to the busy main line.
The project includes sidewalks, protective barriers and lighting as well as new approach roadways at both ends of the span.
It will be slightly higher and longer than the old bridge, which was actually a pair of bridges built side by side.
Havana Street, which is being used by some motorists as a detour around the Freya project, will be closed south of Trent Avenue in late April as crews start construction of the first in a series of new bridges planned along the rail lines in Spokane Valley as part of the “Bridging the Valley” project.
Graham Construction and Development Inc., of Spokane Valley, won the contract for the Havana bridge.
Freeway work reroutes traffic
Work on a new north-south freeway at Wandermere Road is going to require a realignment of U.S. Highway 395 just south of the Little Spokane River bridge.
New freeway bridges are being built as part of the freeway interchange at Wandermere, and that is forcing traffic onto a two-lane temporary roadway starting this week. One 11-foot-wide lane will go in each direction. Detours will be required for loads in excess of 10 feet in width.
Wandermere Road will be reopened to traffic at the same time.
Projects get under way
•Road restrictions are expected starting today along U.S. Highway 2 at Elk-Chattaroy Road. Crews are realigning the northbound right turn lane to improve visibility for drivers.
•The interchange bridge for Geiger Boulevard over Interstate 90 will be reduced to one lane with flaggers directing traffic during repairs to bridge deck joints. The work starts this morning and continues through Thursday.
•Decatur Avenue from Freya to Julia streets and Julia from Dalke to Francis avenues will be closed today for a project to pave the roadway and install curbs and sidewalks.
•Crews are installing fiber optic cable in the vicinity of Ray and Freya streets between Sprague and Hartson avenues. Single lane closures are likely.
It’s sweeper time
Residential street sweeping is under way in Spokane. Drivers are asked to move parked cars off the street when sweepers come through their areas. The schedule for sweeping can be found at spokanecity.org.