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Photos: Howard bridge, among first to cross Spokane River

October 1963: The Howard Street Bridge is lined with barricades in preparation for a month of repair work.
October 1963: The Howard Street Bridge is lined with barricades in preparation for a month of repair work.

Beginning in 1881 and continuing for most of a century, Howard Street traffic crossed the Spokane River over a series of three bridges – dubbed the Howard, Havermale and Washington bridges – as shoppers and workers traveled downtown from the North Side. The traffic passed beneath the elevated trestle that brought trains to the depot of the Milwaukee Road and Union Pacific. Cars bumped across the tracks near the Great Northern depot, of which only the Riverfront Park Clocktower remains. The bridges were the first spans across the river, followed closely by the rickety wooden Monroe Street Bridge. Before the Howard Street project, crossing the river required fording in a shallow spot or going to Antoine Plante’s ferry landing and pulling a vehicle across the river with a rope. The bridges became pedestrian-only upon the opening Expo ’74.

On the Web: View more historic photos and present-day comparisons at spokesman.com/then-and-now.

– Jesse Tinsley


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