Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, February 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 33° Clear

Outdoors blog

Spokane River closure expanded near Sullivan Bridge construction

Sullivan Road bridge reconstruction -- workers maneuver on a temporary bridge on the downstream side of the main bridge in this Feb. 14, 2015, view with the river running at 20,000 cfs. (Tanner Grant)
Sullivan Road bridge reconstruction -- workers maneuver on a temporary bridge on the downstream side of the main bridge in this Feb. 14, 2015, view with the river running at 20,000 cfs. (Tanner Grant)

WATERSPORTS --  Because of higher flows through the Sullivan Road Bridge reconstruction zone, the Spokane River is closed to paddling use between Old Mission Avenue and Sullivan Road, the City of Spokane Valley announced this morning.   

The closure begins two-thirds of a mile upstream (east) of the Sullivan Road Bridge at the Old Mission Avenue access to the river and the Centennial Trail.

The Old Mission Avenue access and river takeout is located off Mission Parkway just west of Flora Road. 

The expanded closure area extends to 500 feet downstream (west) of the Sullivan Road Bridge construction area.

The city made its case:

Concerns for the safety of river users due to construction-related hazards in the river, continued high water levels, and swift currents prompted the Spokane Valley City Council to approve a resolution expanding the closed area of the Spokane River near the southbound Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement project. 

The river immediately adjacent to the bridge construction project was originally closed on February 2 and has remained closed since that time.  Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich had expressed concern that current conditions in the river constitute a significant safety concern.  City Public Works staff met with Sheriff's rescue personnel to determine an appropriate expansion of the closure to keep river users away from the construction hazards near the project. 

Signs posted at river access points at Stateline, Harvard Road, Barker Road, and Flora Road alert river users to the closure.  Signs posted along the river 1500 feet, 1000 feet, and 500 feet upstream of the Old Mission Avenue access alert river users to the closure and direct them to the mandatory takeout point on the southeast side of the river. 

The area will remain closed to river use until further notice.  When the river is reopened, notification will be provided via a media release, emailed to those on the project email interest list, and posted to the City of Spokane Valley's website.

Subscribe to receive media releases and other emailed updates on the Sullivan Road Bridge replacement project, including announcements regarding river access by calling 720-5411



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

Follow Rich online:




Go to the full Outdoors page