The city's Parks Department anticipates the bridge closing May 27, with completion of the project slated for April 2023. In the interim, bridge users will be directed to a detour that will route south of the bridge site to Spokane Falls Boulevard, near the junction with the Ben Burr Trail. Pedestrians will be able to use that bridge to cross the river, then make their way back to the Centennial Trail along North Cincinnati Street on Gonzaga's campus. River access will be closed at the bridge during construction.
Airway Heights' mayor from the late '90s, Karen Stratton's former legislative assistant and a formerly incarcerated person of color were the only unexpected names to file to run for election in the August primary.
The proposal, which evenly divided the council members present Monday night, would not solve a staffing problem that dates back several years and is not driven primarily by the two dozen workers who did not get their shots, said Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer. Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs, who did not vote Monday night, said he wouldn't support the request because he believes the city made the right call in interpreting Gov. Jay Inslee's vaccine mandate to include firefighters responding to medical calls. That decision is also being challenged in federal court, Beggs noted, in a case that's scheduled to go to trial in October.
The Spokane Parks Department announced the closure on social media this week, citing the need for "inspection and minor repairs" on the span that was originally built as part of preparations for Expo '74. The south suspension bridge, as it's known, is slated for the same kind of renovations that shuttered its partner to the north for nearly three years.
The panel said the approach that worked in San Diego included immediate bridge shelters, which prohibited drug use and other illicit activity, free storage areas to allow people to place their things without fear of it being confiscated by law enforcement and safe parking lots, allowing those staying in campers and recreational vehicles to stay but also be paired with housing and counseling services on-site.