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Suspension bridge reopens in Spokane's Riverfront Park

Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio
Pedestrians are again able to enjoy the Spokane River from Riverfront Park's north pedestrian bridge.

The span has been closed for safety reasons since 2019.

The city of Spokane has reopened the remodeled north suspension bridge in Riverfront Park.

The bridge was one of two suspension spans built for Spokane’s 1974 world’s fair. The city closed it for safety reasons in 2019. Parks Director Garrett Jones says the aging span had holes in the deck and some of its supporting steel had corroded.

Work began in May 2021 to repair and replace the defective sections and install new infrastructure that runs underneath the span.

“A lot of the distribution from the power plant that Avista has, we use those suspension bridges to transport that power to the north bank, so a lot of infrastructure work went into that,” Jones said.

Crews also replaced the bridge’s lights and upgraded the safety railings. Jones says the cost is $2.9 million, covered by a combination of grants and tax money.

Now that that project is finished, he’s turning his attention to finding money to remodel the park’s other suspension bridge. Jones says, because that one is slightly shorter, its price tag is expected to be only $2.2 million.

The south suspension bridge had also been closed during construction. That has also been reopened.

Avista had installed temporary overhead power lines in the area. The city says those will remain until reconstruction of the south bridge is completed. Then, they say, Avista will return the lines to their usual place on the underside of the bridges.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.