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

Getting There: Disruptions expected this summer during Maple Street Bridge work

The Maple Street Bridge has been in service since opening in 1958 and carries thousands of cars over the Peaceful Valley neighborhood and across the Spokane River every day. The city of Spokane is preparing to do a major renovation.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Spokane’s busiest bridge is going to get a face-lift this year, and despite efforts to minimize the impact on drivers, it’s likely going to be the most disruptive construction project of the year.

Replacement of the Maple Street Bridge’s concrete surface is expected to start Aug. 1 and last roughly two months, with a call for bids expected June 1. For most of the project, one lane will be open in either direction, though the bridge will have to close completely for a few weeks during work on the bridge’s southern end, said Public Works Director Marlene Feist.

“That will be the biggest impact to the traveling public, and so we’ll want to give plenty of notice when we get to that,” Feist said.

In addition to resurfacing, some repair work will be done on the joints where the bridge deck’s concrete panels connect. The project is estimated to cost around $3.5 million.

Around 45,000 vehicles pass over the bridge every single day, according to a 2017 traffic study, making it the busiest river crossing in the city. It slightly edged out the Division Street Bridge’s 44,000 daily trips.

Opened in 1958, the Maple Street Bridge is also one of the city’s newest river crossings, and by a sizable margin. By comparison, the earliest iterations of the Division Street or Monroe Street bridges were both built in the 1880s.

The bridge cost $6 million to construct, which was supposed to be paid off with a 10-cent toll. However, for the first 15 years of the bridge’s existence, the tolls collected weren’t enough to drop the principal debt by a single cent. The toll was raised to 25 cents in 1981 and lasted until it was removed in 1990.

Work to watch for

The North Hatch Road on- and offramp of U.S. Highway 395 will be closed Monday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a crack-sealing project by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Several road projects are beginning this week within city limits that will affect travel.

Work on Riverside Avenue that was paused for the winter will begin again Monday. Riverside Avenue will be closed in both directions between Stevens and Wall streets, and Howard Street will be closed between Riverside and Sprague avenues. Work is expected to be finished by April 22, weather permitting.

Travelers on Wellesley Avenue between Haven and Market streets should be ready for lane closures and detours, as the city is making improvements and installing water lines to prepare for the completion of the North Spokane Corridor.

Work on Thor and Freya will also begin again this week, with intermittent lane closures between Sprague and Hartson avenues. Work is expected to be complete by April 28, and in June, the city will begin rebuilding the intersections at Second and Third avenues.

Monroe Street will be reduced to one lane between Summit Boulevard and Boone Avenue beginning April 17 for permanent striping on the road following last year’s grind and overlay project.

Traffic controls will be in place at Bismark Avenue and A Street in Northwest Spokane beginning Monday for a grind-and-overlay project.

Sprague Avenue will be reduced to two lanes between Post and Lincoln streets on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to fix a water service. Parking will be unavailable on Sprague.