Sullivan Road bridge replacement gets green light with Padden’s help

padden_pqSen. Mike Padden was on hand at Tuesday evening’s Spokane Valley City Council meeting for an announcement made possible by his efforts: the city’s plan to replace the southbound Sullivan Road bridge span can move forward to the contract-bidding stage.

Padden, R-Spokane Valley, had learned several days earlier that should the winning bid exceed the project’s estimated cost, the state’s Transportation Investment Board is poised to provide up to $500,000 – perhaps more – to cover the difference. That commitment allows the city to push ahead toward a January bid date.

“I had made the Sullivan Road bridge my number-one transportation priority, knowing it’s a gateway to a very important economic corridor – home to the Spokane Valley Business and Industrial Park and companies such as Kaiser Aluminum, Central Premix Concrete Products, and Wagstaff, Inc., which together provide many thousands of jobs,” Padden said.Sullivan Road W bridge

“The temporary fixes made to the bridge are just that, so it became critical to expedite the bridge replacement,” Padden continued. “Spokane Valley was looking to the state for the support it needed to make the funding work, and although we ended up taking an alternate route to secure that backing from Olympia, the project can now proceed. This is terrific news, and it was nice to be there when the council members heard it.”

Had the state’s new transportation budget included money for projects not already on the to-do list, the Sullivan Road bridge replacement likely would have been among them, Padden said, based on his discussions with the Yakima senator who co-chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. However, when the 2013-15 transportation budget was held to a bare-bones plan that simply maintains support for projects already on the board, Padden changed gears and worked to identify an alternative that led to the agreement from the state TIB.

“Many of us have waited for this day since the southbound span was declared structurally inefficient in 2009. It’s very important, especially to the employers in our area, that we replace the bridge with one that not only is safer but eliminates the bottleneck that has gotten worse in recent years.

“The city has a green light now to go ahead with vital improvements we all want to see, and I’m very glad for that,” Padden said.