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Jeremy Miles spends most days behind a desk at HDR Engineering in Spokane. But he spent a recent Wednesday suspended midair off the side of the Latah Creek Bridge.
The Latah Creek bridge, also known as the Sunset Boulevard bridge, was built after the Monroe Street Bridge in downtown and features a similar design. It was constructed in large part due to booming wheat farming in central Washington and more motorist interest in traveling to Seattle.
Collisions Tuesday afternoon involving multiple cars and a semitruck on eastbound Interstate 90 near the Latah Creek Bridge caused multiple injuries.
The Latah Creek Bridge – that grand span over Latah Creek on Sunset Boulevard, connecting Spokane’s downtown area via Browne’s Addition to the West Plains and beyond – celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The bridge, on the National Register of Historic Places, was completed in July 1913 and joins the Monroe Street Bridge (originally constructed in 1911) as one of the state’s early examples of long-span, fixed-end, open-spandrel concrete arch structures. Its most outstanding architectural feature is its seven Roman arches – two being 150 feet, two at 135 feet, one at 128 feet and two being 54-abutment or approach arches. The arches each contain four arch ribs carrying the surface roadway slab on spandrel columns and arches.
Congestion is now a fact of life on Interstate 90, with backups occurring almost every day from construction restrictions through Spokane and Spokane Valley. Pavement repairs west of the downtown area are causing frequent delays at the top of Sunset Hill, where eastbound traffic is squeezed into a single lane.
The Washington State Patrol is warning motorists that pothole repair work today on westbound Interstate 90 on the west side of downtown Spokane is causing partial lane closures.