Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Garco Construction Leader to Build U-District Bridge

Plans for the new U-District bridge.
Garco Construction, Inc., a Spokane company with several multimillion-dollar contracts with the city of Spokane, is in line to build the long-awaited, $9.5 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge from the University District to the East Sprague Business District.

According to the Spokesman-Review, City Council is scheduled to vote on the contract proposal next Monday. Garco’s bid of $9,499,047 exceeds an engineer’s estimate of total construction costs by a little less than 1 percent, but it was the lowest of the seven firms that provided quotes for the project.

Proponents of the bridge say it will provide safe access for students and others to a new medical school in the district, which has seen more than $740 million in investment since 2004. Critics though say the bridge’s price tag is too high and many members of the public won’t use it.

City Council President Ben Stuckart pushed back on claims the project was too costly, saying the bridge would more than make up its price tag in spurring economic development nearby.

Funds for the project come mostly from an $8.8 million allotment by the Washington Legislature in 2015. About $3.1 million will come from receipts of existing sales and property taxes within the University District’s public development authority, created by the City Council in 2012 to channel grant money and tax revenue toward the project.

Construction on the bridge is expected to start in March, with completion scheduled for fall 2018.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.