County, Air Force, State and Fire District Officials Celebrate
Start of Euclid Road Bridge Replacement Project
During the “Construction Kickoff”, County Commissioner Al French commented on how the project required extensive collaboration. “It may look like an old farm-to-market wooden bridge, but this is actually an important transportation link for a growing neighborhood, schools, emergency responders and hundreds of staff and students at Fairchild’s SERE School and Personnel Recovery Academy,” French said. He added, “Spokane County partnered with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, and also received tremendous support from Fifth District Congresswoman Cathy McMorris-Rogers and Fairchild Air Force Base.”
Commissioner French was joined by Lt. Col. Dawn Hilderbrand, the Commandant for the Personnel Recovery Academy. “We are delighted with the start of construction on the bridge and look forward to when it reopens to traffic," Hilderbrand said.
Fire District 10 Chief Ken Johnson commented on how the bridge improves emergency response. “Having a new bridge that is stronger than the current one is a relief for everyone who drives it, especially if you’re behind the wheel of a fire truck. While the detour was necessary, fire and other emergency responders will be happy to have a more direct and faster route,” Johnson said.
The Euclid Road Bridge is owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway. In June 2019, Spokane County Public Works conducted a safety inspection and two critical failures were found in the bridge substructure. The failures made the structure unsafe for vehicular traffic and the Public Works Bridge Engineer recommended closing the bridge (confirmed by an independent consultant). Jersey barriers were placed on both approaches to block access to the bridge.
Spokane County and BNSF then began the process of meeting with consultants to determine the design, timeline and rail detours that would be necessary during construction. When finished the $3,652,000 project will be a new metal span across the BNSF tracks that is safer and stronger than the old wooden bridge that has been in place since 1980 (the original bridge was built in the early 20th century and burned down in 1979. It was rebuilt by BNSF in 1980.)
For more information, go to www.spokanecounty.org/publicworks
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