November 26, 2011 in Washington Voices

Bridge, sewer work wrapped up

Unforeseen obstacles left a few loose ends for spring
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane Valley residents are breathing a sigh of relief that sewer construction has ended for the season and the Appleway Bridge is complete after being closed for 18 months, but it’s not over yet. Sewer installation crews were delayed in the Green Haven neighborhood and will have to come back in the spring.

On roads east of Flora north and south of I-90, crews ran into giant boulders that were close to where the new sewer pipe needed to be, said Spokane County construction engineer Paul Lennemann. Crews would have to dig deeper than planned to excavate the boulders, then backfill the hole. “You’re just hitting the tops of these boulders, which causes you all this extra work,” he said.

Crews also ran into concrete flumes from an old irrigation system under some roads, and those were time-consuming to remove. “The last bit of pipe went in the last full week of October and the paving followed,” Lennemann said.

The roads left to be dug up in the spring are Barker Road between Broadway and Appleway; Alki and Cowley for about a block each west of Barker; and Alki east of Barker. When crews can start depends on when the ground thaws, Lennemann said. “I’d like to be removing asphalt on Barker the second or third week of March,” he said. “I’d hope that we would be out of there by Memorial Day.”

A little work also remains on the Appleway Bridge at Stateline, which opened to traffic last week. “We have to seal the deck,” Lennemann said. Crews will also have to do some touch-up painting when the weather warms.

The bridge was originally estimated to cost $17 million, and the construction bid came in at $8 million. “It’s a huge savings,” he said.

Lennemann said everyone is relieved that the bridge is done. As the project began to look finished, a lot of calls came in asking when it would reopen, he said. “Everybody starts wanting to drive on it,” he said. “The businesses were real understanding. We got it open as quick as we could for them.”

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