The southbound Sullivan Road Bridge across the Spokane River is closed Thursday as crews prepare to begin demolition of the aging bridge.
All traffic has been shifted onto the northbound bridge with two lanes southbound and one lane northbound through early 2016.
Those whose destinations are outside the immediate project area may wish to use alternative routes. Spokane Valley Mall traffic is encouraged to use Evergreen Road as an alternative to avoid congestion and delays. Flora Road via Broadway will provide an alternative for those heading to and from businesses located east of Sullivan on Indiana.
The southbound bridge is expected to remain closed through early 2016 when construction of the new bridge is finished. The full project, including restoration of traffic configurations on the northbound bridge, is expected to wrap up in late 2016/early 2017.
For safety, Centennial Trail below the bridge will be closed at times and users will be diverted onto surface streets. A temporary safety structure to be placed over the trail below the bridge will allow the trail to remain open for continued use most of the time.
River traffic below the bridge will also be restricted at times for safety, but will remain open for most of the project.
Replacement of the bridge, which was built in 1950, has been a priority for the City of Spokane Valley since 2009 when an annual bridge inspection resulted in a rating of "structurally deficient." Weight restrictions were posted in June of 2011, and subsequently removed when temporary repairs were completed in 2012.
The bridge carries about 26,000 vehicles a day and links the industrial area north of the river with Interstate 90 and the commercial areas located north and south of the freeway.
The new bridge will be 65 feet wide, with four lanes that will safely accommodate future southbound traffic flow. It will also help relieve congestion at the high-traffic intersection south of the bridge at Sullivan and Indiana.
Also included in the project are a 10-foot-wide multi-use pathway and three river viewing platforms. Access to the river below the bridge will be enhanced with the addition of a crushed rock path, and a rock stairway leading from Sullivan Park to the river.
Weekly e-mailed Traffic Alerts will provide detailed information on traffic impacts for the bridge project as well as other road construction projects in Spokane Valley. In addition, quarterly mailed and e-mailed newsletters throughout the project will provide overviews of work completed and previews of work to come.
Those interested can subscribe to receive the e-mailed traffic alerts and e-mailed Sullivan Bridge project updates at spokanevalley.org/signup. To receive mailed copies of the quarterly Sullivan Bridge project newsletter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-5411.
More details, including background information, photos of the existing bridge, depictions of the new bridge and other project information can be found at spokanevalley.org/sullivanbridge or by calling 720-5411.