Spokane Valley Online
The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Transportation concerns brought forward


Managing Editor


Getting from here to there would be a bit easier with a little federal help.

That’s why the various at-grade road crossings – specifically Barker, Park and Pines – got plenty of discussion time when Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers paid a visit to the Spokane Valley City Council last Friday.

“We hope you keep all of this on your radar,” said Council Member Sam Wood.

While the meeting was lightly attended -- less than two dozen listened, but were not allowed to comment – the council pressed on the issue that Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads do not seem to be willing to work together to make Bridging the Valley – a long hoped-for plan to align the main tracks into a single corridor while developing under and overpasses at busy crossings – a reality.

However, a strong voice in Washington, D.C., could make the difference.

“They don’t even think they need to get a permit from us to do their project,” said Council Member Ben Wick, expressing frustration that BNSF was moving forward with double tracks through a section of Spokane Valley. “We need your help.”

The city has received more than $9 million in TIGER grant funding for the Barker Road grade-separation project, which council members acknowledged wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the congresswoman. However, the fear is, greater train traffic will have a much greater impact at crossings at, in particular, Pines and Park roads that haven’t been fully addressed.

McMorris Rodgers suggested “coordinating a meeting” with representatives of the two railroads.

“I think that’s what we need to do,” she said.
“Well, we’re striking out at the local level,” said City Manager Mark Calhoun.

A Pines Road grade-separation project would cost about $24 million.

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TheSpokane Valley News Herald
is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

E-mail: vnh@onemain.com
Phone: (509) 924-2440