September 29, 2011 in Washington Voices

Fire rigs exceed load limit on bridge

By The Spokesman-Review

The weight restrictions on the southbound Sullivan Road Bridge over the Spokane River are impacting more than local businesses. The Spokane Valley Fire Department has two ladder trucks that are too heavy to use the bridge.

One truck is assigned to Station 8 near Pines Road and Mansfield Avenue and the other is at the Greenacres Station on East Sprague Avenue.

Both stations are located south of the river and the bridge isn’t normally a problem, said Fire Chief Mike Thompson. But the department’s training facility is on Sullivan Road north of the river. If one of the ladder trucks was at the training facility and got a call, crews would not be able to go south unless they detoured and took another route.

“We have talked that maybe we would go the wrong way on the other (northbound) bridge,” said Deputy Chief Larry Rider.

It’s risky to head into oncoming traffic and that option would only be used in an extreme emergency, said Thompson. “That’s quite a way to go against traffic,” he said.

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