After five years of lobbying for state and federal funding, Spokane Valley has the $38 million it needs to eliminate train crossing delays where the BNSF tracks cross Pines Road.
On Friday, 4th Legislative District Sen. Mike Padden announced that the state Department of Transportation will contribute $5 million toward the Pines Road underpass project, which will reroute cars underneath the railroad tracks. In addition to state dollars, the city has $22.7 million in federal grants and $10.2 million from the Spokane Regional Transportation Council.
Spokane Valley politicians have wanted to eliminate vehicle-train conflicts on Pines Road for decades.
More than 60 trains cross Pines Road every day, holding up traffic for a combined four hours. The delays aren’t merely a nuisance.
City officials and transportation experts say train crossings impede ambulance crews, firefighters and police officers. Padden and others have argued an underpass will even pave the way for new commercial development in the area.
Spokane Valley will build more than an underpass with the $38 million. The city will also install a roundabout at the intersection of Pines Road and Trent Avenue and create a new access point for the Centennial Trail along the Spokane River.
Padden, who serves on the Senate Transportation Committee, said he’s eager to see the Pines Road project break ground. The city plans to begin construction in spring 2024.
“It’s been a long process,” Padden said. “We’re happy that it’s come through and can get started.”
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