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

Bridge work forces Centennial Trail revision

The Sullivan Bridge Replacement Project has encountered a problem: In order to ensure appropriate clearing near the abutments, part of the Centennial Trail will have to be relocated closer to the river.

Senior engineer Steve Worley explained to the Spokane Valley City Council at its Tuesday meeting that initially the plan was to just lower the trail to get the clearing required underneath the bridge.

“But there’s an underground AT&T cable there and the cost of replacing the cable was prohibitive,” Worley said.

Worley said it’s not clear how much moving the trail will cost, but initial estimates run at “a couple of hundred thousand” as relocation will require the construction of a new retaining wall above high-water marks.

A $500,000 contingency was built into the $15 million cost of the project exactly for situations like this, Worley said, so the project is expected to stay within budget. The consultant on the bridge project is responsible for the mistake and is covering part of the added cost.

Because this will permanently move the Centennial Trail closer to the river, environmental rules require a public hearing, which will be held at next week’s council meeting.

If the changes can be made before the end of paving season – which is roughly Thanksgiving, according to Worley – the bridge project will remain on time and be finished by September 2016.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

A last-minute change to Tuesday’s agenda allowed for the adoption of an emergency moratorium on new marijuana stores in Spokane Valley.

City manager Mike Jackson explained that the state will soon begin to issue permits for medical marijuana stores, and that the moratorium will allow Spokane Valley to make its own regulations before new permits are issued here.

Deputy city attorney Erik Lamb said it’s not known how many licenses will be released by the state, nor is the number of retail and production sites allowed known yet.

Valley resident James Johnson was the only one to take advantage of the public comment period.

Johnson said the council should not be making policy changes at a meeting that’s billed as a study session. “That should be concerning,” Johnson said.

The moratorium required a supermajority, which it achieved when Ed Pace was the only council member who voted against it.

This emergency moratorium will run through 2015 and a public hearing has been scheduled for the Oct. 27 council meeting at 6 p.m.