UPDATE: The Monroe Street bridge is back open!
FROM THE CITY OF SPOKANE: Stormwater and other utility work on the north end of the Monroe Street Bridge have been completed ahead of schedule, and the bridge will reopen on Friday, June 14 at 5 a.m. in time for the morning commute.
The closure accommodated utility work needed for a project that will manage stormwater from some City streets and streets and other hard surfaces within the Kendall Yards development. The project required significant excavation work at the north end of the bridge.
In an effort to minimize future traffic disruptions on Monroe, City and private utility crews took advantage of the bridge closure to take care of needed repairs and maintenance such as signal and lighting work, installation of a sewer monitoring cellular antenna, and patching.
"Our goal is always to minimize disruptions to businesses, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians by coordinating street and utility projects to keep our streets open," said Jan Quintrall, the City's Business and Developer Services Director. "We appreciate the patience during construction and are pleased to be able to reopen the Monroe Street Bridge ahead of schedule."
The $1.6 million joint City of Spokane-Kendall Yards project will catch stormwater that is currently flowing, untreated, into the Spokane River. It will direct runoff to a retention tank, and then pump it to a treatment area in a new park being built to the west on the Kendall Yards site, called Olmsted Green.
The park will include grass-lined swales that store and filter the stormwater, then percolate it into the ground. This green solution shares stormwater treatment and disposal with a recreational site use. Only the biggest events get much of the park wet for a brief time.
The project is consistent with a new Integrated Clean Water Plan the City is developing to manage stormwater and wastewater that impacts the Spokane River. The plan will prioritize projects based on their positive environmental impact to the river. It will include projects to reduce untreated discharges to the river from both separated storm sewers and combined sanitary and stormwater sewers.
One of the goals of the plan is to incorporate new cost-effective, "green" technologies for managing stormwater on site and reduce the amount flowing into pipes that discharge directly to the river. The Kendall Yards project is a good example of such innovative work.
Others include storm gardens that were built on Lincoln Street on the South Hill and a project on Broadway Avenue near the courthouse that includes pervious pavement and stormwater planters.