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Tuesday, August 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Getting There: Funds give new life to aging bridges

Federal grant will repair 3 Spokane County spans

Three Spokane County bridges will be replaced in coming years under a federal program to upgrade bridges around the country.

The largest project, at $19 million, is the western structure of a pair of bridges over the Spokane River at Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.

That 1950s-era bridge carries southbound traffic and is showing wear, but it is not considered to be at risk of failure, said Spokane Valley spokeswoman Carolbelle Branch.

The federal grant is for $8 million, and Spokane Valley engineers are working on obtaining additional funding, No construction schedule has been established.

Two other Spokane County bridges to be replaced are the Bruce Road Bridge over Peone Creek, with a $2 million grant in 2013, and the Little Spokane River Drive Bridge over the Little Spokane River near Wandermere, with a $2.4 million grant in 2012.

Both of the county projects will force road closures for one season each.

The projects are among 47 bridges selected for funding in Washington out of 69 projects submitted to the state Department of Transportation.

Other projects in the region are the Hatley Bridge in Whitman County, which will be shored up to withstand an earthquake with a $680,000 grant, and the McCoy Creek Bridge on Steptoe Street in Oakesdale, which will be replaced with a $535,000 grant.

Adams County won funding for rehabilitation of the Hooper Store Bridge at $364,000.

“Some of these bridges are beyond the point of repair and need to be replaced in order to protect the traveling public,” said Kathleen Davis, director of highways and local programs for the state. “Many of them, though, can be repaired, which will add many more years of operation to their lifespan.”

The funding comes from the federal highway bridge program.

Blasting done for season

Construction work on the east side of Snoqualmie Pass, including evening blasting, is being suspended for the winter.

Interstate 90 through the construction zone has been closed for about an hour four evenings a week in recent months to allow for safe rock removal along the cliffs to the north of the freeway.

Since May, workers have removed 500,000 tons of rock; they’ll resume work next year to remove another 800,000 tons. The project will widen I-90 from four to six lanes from Hyak to Keechelus Dam. It’s now in the second of a four-year construction schedule.

Motorists will continue to detour over a temporary bridge at Gold Creek near Hyak.

More than 27,000 vehicles travel the pass on weekdays, with traffic frequently doubling on weekends and holidays.

The new bridge design will allow easier movement of wildlife under the freeway, which will help protect animals and motorists.

Max J. Kuney Co., of Spokane, has been the contractor on this year’s $76 million portion of the work.

Restrictions near Ritzville

I-90 at Ritzville may see lane restrictions today through Wednesday to make room for work on a BNSF Railway overpass. Drivers entering I-90 westbound from Ritzville need to be cautious merging into the through lanes, officials said.

Paving will close streets

Paving on Second Avenue in downtown Spokane is expected to continue on Tuesday from Jefferson Street to Sunset Boulevard, weather permitting.

That will force the closure of Maple and Walnut streets at Second so crews can have unfettered access to the street.

The closure will begin about 5:30 a.m. and continue through late afternoon.

The section from Howard to Jefferson streets was paved Friday, causing the closure of intersections at Monroe and Lincoln streets.

The reconstruction project, which includes a new water main, drain lines and sidewalk segments, began in August.

Bridge gets final touches

Work on the Chattaroy Road Bridge in north Spokane County is nearly finished, with the contractor planning to install a guardrail and complete final touches on the project this week. The road remains closed with a detour in place but should be open in about two weeks. It is open now for emergency vehicles only.

Streets reopen

Thirty-seventh Avenue from Grand Boulevard to Perry Street was reopened Friday, as was Wellesley Avenue from Assembly Street to Driscoll Boulevard. Both streets were reconstructed.

Safety work

Traffic on state Highway 21 north of Manila Creek in Ferry County has been reduced to one through lane directed by flaggers so that loose rock can be removed from the slope above the roadway.

A mesh net and rock bolts are being installed to protect the highway and drivers from falling rock.

Free parking

Thursday will be a parking meter holiday in Spokane in honor of Veterans Day.

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