Cables strung as pedestrian bridge takes shape in Spokane’s University District

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

(As reported in The Spokesman-Review by Nicholas Deshais)

First the arch went up, and now the cables are strung. It is, after all, a cable-stayed arch bridge.

The pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the east end of downtown is well on its way to its September completion. Officially called the University District Gateway Bridge, the $12 million span is 120 feet tall and will connect the U-District with East Sprague Avenue near its intersection with Sherman Avenue and its bike lanes.

When complete, the bridge will be the latest landmark on Spokane’s skyline, and be lit with colored LED lights. An official ribbon-cutting is anticipated for early October.

Along with last year’s transformation of East Sprague Avenue, the creation and extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and the growth of the University District, the bridge is yet another public investment in the East Central neighborhood.

At the pedestrian bridge’s south landing, Avista has plans for a six-story, 140,000-square-foot building filled with high-tech labs, offices, classrooms and study area. Eastern Washington University plans to move three degree programs and around 1,000 students from its Cheney campus to the building, which is expected to be complete in 2020.

In 2019, the city plans to redo the section of East Sprague between Browne and Scott streets that Avista’s “Catalyst Project” sits on. MLK Way, which goes beneath the bridge, is currently being extended to its eventual intersection with Trent Avenue, where a roundabout is being constructed. The street will be closed till mid-August as Garco Construction completes its work on the bridge.