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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Getting There: State helps fund Sullivan bridge

Board chips in with $3.5 million grant

The city of Spokane Valley is looking to replace the Sullivan Road Bridge, which was built in 1951. (File)

The effort to secure funding for a new Sullivan Road Bridge over the Spokane River got a boost last week with the announcement of a $3.5 million grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board.

The city of Spokane Valley has been seeking to replace the 1951 bridge, which is rated as structurally deficient.

In 2011, the bridge’s southbound lanes were under weight restrictions, but temporary repairs this year allowed those restrictions to be lifted. The city spent about $350,000 on that project.

The bridge is considered a critical route for commerce since it serves as the connection between the industrial area north of the river and Interstate 90.

Of the 29,500 vehicle crossings a day, an estimated 24 percent are commercial trucks, city officials said.

“The bridge is more than just a way to get vehicles across the Spokane River,” Mayor Tom Towey said. “It’s also a critical element in our ability to keep and attract jobs in our community.”

So far, the city has secured grants and local funding for $15.8 million of the estimated $19.7 million needed for replacement.

The project also has received $8 million from a federal bridge replacement program and $2 million from the state’s freight mobility investment board, among other funds.

A design review meeting will take public input in January. For more information, contact project manager Craig Aldworth at caldworth@, or by phone at (509) 720-5001.

To obtain email updates, go to and click on the “follow us” link on the home page. In addition, residents may contact Carolbelle Branch at or (509) 270-5411 to receive updates.

Campaign pushes sober driving

State and local law enforcement officers are now well into holiday emphasis patrols to curb impaired driving.

The patrols this season started Wednesday and will last through Jan. 1 under a program from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. It involves Spokane, Pend Oreille and Ferry counties.

As part of the publicity campaign surrounding the program, the commission staff quoted a Spokane Valley resident who paid $1,200 to have an ignition interlock system installed on his pickup truck after a conviction for driving under the influence.

Despite the cost, the resident said he was able to keep his job because the interlock system allowed him to continue driving for his job during his license suspension. It also was a help in stopping drinking, the man told state officials.

Fall cleanup

Street leaf pickup in Spokane is scheduled to move into the Cannon Hill area today and Tuesday. Also, leaves will be cleared starting Tuesday in the Manito Park and South Freya Street areas.

Neighborhoods near East Sprague Avenue can expect to see crews Wednesday.

Improvement plan draft posted

The Washington State Department of Transportation has posted online a final draft of the state’s transportation improvement program for 2013 to 2016.

A public comment period on the draft is open until Dec. 20.

The plan includes more than 1,000 projects, which could use up to $2 billion in federal money.

To learn more or to comment, go to

Better striping

WSDOT also said its crews in Washington recently finished putting down a brighter and tougher type of lane striping that will be more visible.

The $2.7 million in projects involved high-traffic locations along Interstate 5, state Highway 240 in Richland, U.S. Highway 2 at Cashmere and U.S. Highway 12 in Walla Walla.

An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect amount for the total bridge funding available so far.