Spokane bridge closes Monday for $3.2M in repairs

(The Center Square) – The Don Kardong Bridge in Spokane closes Monday for several weeks of repairs and more than half of the $3.2 million bill for the project will be paid by American Rescue Plan funds.

The bridge is part of the 39-mile Centennial Trail near Gonzaga University and crossed by about 160,000 people per year. While the bridge is out of commission, a detour will take people walking the trail south to Spokane Falls Boulevard and through the university campus. River access will be closed at the bridge during construction.

Garco Construction is the contractor for bridge renovation work. The project includes removal and replacement of decking from wood to concrete, replacement of bridge overlooks with ADA accessible platforms, installation of a new lighting system, minor concrete pier replacement, erection, new guardrails and installation of barriers to block vehicle access.

The city Parks & Recreation Department reports that funding for construction comes from donors, grants and $2.2 million in ARP dollars.

Although the city council initially approved a $1.45 million investment of federal funds into the bridge, the amount was raised in April to cover the rising cost of materials tied to inflation.

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has provided a $726,000 grant for bridge rehabilitation.

The Lilac Bloomsday Association is contributing $50,000 for the bridge named in 1988 after Don Kardong, the originator of the annual festival and an early advocate of the trial.

Gonzaga is providing $50,000 plus a land easement for construction staging. The University District Public Development Authority is contributing $70,000. The Friends of the Centennial Trail have given $75,000.

“Thank you to our funding partners for ensuring this pedestrian connection is fully renovated for the future,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation, in a statement posted on the city’s website Tuesday.

“Bridges are expensive to repair, and when we have to allocate a large amount of our Parks & Recreation budget to bridges, our neighborhood parks don’t get the resources they need and deserve. Bringing together these incredible partnerships is what allows us all to succeed and deliver improved infrastructure to the community.”.

The Don Kardong Bridge is the latest span over the Spokane River to be closed for reconstruction. The East Trent Avenue Bridge has been shut down since June 2020 for a $25 million replacement project by the Washington Department of Transportation.

In addition, the Post Street Bridge near downtown is undergoing an $18.6 million renovation.

The parks department has also closed the south suspension bridge in Riverfront Park ahead of a $2.2 million rehabilitation.

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Article Source: Fox 11