Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane Valley is short on funds for Sullivan Road bridge project

Envisioned $20 million replacement not in state budget

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The city of Spokane Valley is facing a funding shortfall on a Sullivan Road Bridge renovation project that has been in the works for the last three years, says city spokeswoman Carolbelle Branch.

The Valley stands to lose $3.5 million in funding for the project if it doesn't go out to bid in November, Branch says, a looming reality if the matching funds it needs for the project aren't provided through Washington state legislative action.

Gov. Jay Inslee last month signed an $8.7 billion 2013-2015 state transportation budget that didn't include funding for the Sullivan Bridge project. However, the state still is considering a separate transportation package that would go toward road and bridge maintenance, and potentially could provide money for the project.

The Sullivan Bridge project, which includes replacing the existing southbound span over the Spokane River, currently is in the design phase and is expected to cost almost $20 million to complete. Of that, Branch says the city has secured preliminary commitments for $15.8 million. To proceed, the city is seeking the remaining roughly $4 million from the state.

The city has received preliminary commitments for funding from the Federal Highway Administration's federal bridge program, the Washington State Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board, and the Washington Transportation Improvement Board. The city also has contributed $2.3 million in matching funds.

If the project doesn't go to bid on time this fall, it likely will lose $3.5 million of funding from the Washington TIB.

"It's really important to us that we continue to try and get that final piece of the puzzle," Branch says.

The current two-lane southbound bridge would be replaced with a four-lane bridge that would taper back to two lanes of traffic just north of the river. The project also is likely to include a 10-foot multiuse path located slightly below a six-foot walkway separated from the traffic by concrete barriers. The bridge also likely would include access to the river and nearby park.

The Federal Highway Administration deemed the bridge structurally deficient in 2010, meaning the bridge required significant maintenance, rehabilitation, or needs to be replaced.

The city made temporary repairs to the bridge in 2012, enabling it to lift weight restrictions that had been in place since the prior year.

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