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  • To preserve and sustain the unique character of the Little Spokane River Valley, including it's open space and natural setting.
  • To maintain lower density zoning.
  • To protect the area's ecosystem including water quality, wetlands, priority habitat and wildlife, and dwindling native vegetation.
  • To encourage the development of area parks and natural areas.
  • To educate public officials of the concerns of the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley, and be pro-active when major issues are at the forefront.

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    Welcome to the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley

    Little Spokane River Bridge No. 3602 Replacement Project Update for Fall of 2012
    This project was advertised for competitive bid in February of this year. Five bids were received and it was awarded to the low bidder, Max J Kuney Company out of Spokane (MJK), for $1,895,117 which is about 14% under the Engineers estimate.

    In May the roadway was closed to traffic and MJK mobilized to the site with the first order of work being to relocate the existing sewer line which would allow the old bridge to be demolished. This was accomplished with a temporary support system installed immediately upstream of the old bridge which supports the line and allows uninterrupted sewer service during construction. Once the bridge is complete the line will be relocated to it.

    This work was immediately followed with demolition of the old bridge which was constructed almost entirely with precast concrete elements so its demolition was really just a reversal of its construction some 59 years ago. After saw-cutting the deck panels apart the panels and supporting girders were lifted out with a crane, broken up on dry land, and then removed from the site. Care was taken during this process to ensure that contaminated water from the saw-cutting operation and concrete debris where not allowed to enter the river.

    The concrete piling which supported the old bridge as well as timber pile from its predecessor was then removed by extracting them with a vibratory hammer. In both cases the work was isolated to control turbidity of the water.

    Once the old bridge was removed benches were cut to allow installation of the pile which will support the new structure. The Piers on each bank are supported with nine steel pile which are driven about 30 feet below the invert of the river bottom to provide adequate support and protection from long term scour which could potentially undermine the bridge. Due to the proximity of the pile driving to the foundation of the SR 395 Bridge overhead WSDOT was concerned that the vibration could impact their structure. To address this the SR395 pier was instrumented and monitored for vibration during pile driving, however no significant effects where found.

    With pile installation complete MJK turned their attention to constructing the concrete pier walls which support the precast concrete girders. This was followed by installation of the rock rip rap which protects the piers from scour. For this work temporary curtains where installed to isolate the work from the live stream and avoid the negative impacts of turbidity.

    Following wall construction the precast concrete girders were erected. This girder shape was a first for Spokane County bridges and is the same shape that WSDOT has used on some of the bridges constructed for the NSC. With the girders set MJK proceeded with forming and pouring the concrete deck which will eventually serve as the driving surface of the new bridge. This will be followed by installation of the concrete barrier and guardrail in November with the intention of having the bridge open to traffic in December of this year.


    The contract for this project was based on a phased approach. Phase One would build the bridge in 2012 and temporary approaches would keep the road open through the winter. Phases Two and Three would then be constructed in 2013 to build the intersection and final approaches to the bridge. This fall MJK proposed to accelerate the work schedule and construct both phases one and two in 2012. This approach resulted in an extended closure of the intersection but will lead to an earlier completion of the overall project which is expected to occur in early spring of 2013. This proposal, which reduces the length of time that traffic is disrupted by the project, was deemed beneficial and approved by the County Engineer.


    During project development FLSRV expressed a strong concern for the type of concrete barrier installed on the new bridge. The original design called for solid Jersey barrier but it was made clear to the County that a more open barrier could be used to align the project with the goal of 'preserving public view-scapes.' This sentiment was expressed not only at the public meeting but in a letter from Lance Pounder, FLSRV President, suggesting that the County study concrete barrier installed in other areas of the State. We did, and after reviewing alternate barrier shapes and verifying that they met current design criteria we settled on a barrier which was commonly used on bridges in the 40’s and 50’s consisting of vertical posts alternating with open windows. We hope that this barrier is a step in the right direction in assisting the FLSRV meet its goal of a “view friendly” river crossing and are encouraged by the interest that the membership brings to the project.


    In addition to meeting the Counties goals of providing a safe, economical, attractive, and functional bridge this project seeks to provide a key link in the connectivity of the local trail network. The design of the trail immediately north of the new bridge is complicated by the Pier of the Wandermere Road Bridge and consequently the design called for the trail to be directed behind the Pier and into the slope. This approach requires construction of a retaining wall which extends some 200 feet north of the Pier. This October when MJK was installing the shoring required to build this retaining wall an unexpected obstruction was encountered beneath the surface which prevented installation of the shoring. This obstruction, which may be buried rock from construction of the Wandermere Bridge or just a buried rock mass, required the Engineer to reengineer the trail alignment. The solution was to move the trail closer to Little Spokane Drive, threading it between the columns of the Pier, and away from the slope. This will be accomplished by installing concrete barrier behind the shoulder of the roadway, parallel to Little Spokane Drive, and filling behind it to create a surface for the trail.

    As we move forward to a successful completion of this project, we wish to thank you for your patience during construction. We understand that the detours are a hassle and an inconvenience but they are key in stretching available funds to build a quality project and ensure worker safety.

    If you have questions about the project please do not hesitate to call: Neil Carroll, County Bridge Engineer 477-3600

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