The University District bridge project set to start next year

One of Spokane's most anticipated - and delayed - construction projects is a step closer to reality. KREM 2's Ryan Simms has more on the planned walkway to link Sprague and the University District.

SPOKANE, Wash. --- The pedestrian bridge project in the University District will move forward this spring.

When the project is done, the bridge will change the entire look of the University District.

The project entails a walkway that would link Sprague and the University District together.

People who work in the University District said they are excited for the area to improve.

"It's a great area, it just needs more life to it,” said August Wyssman.

The walkway also aims change how people feel about the Sprague area.

"If they were willing to invest in more, we would have more interesting things on Sprague,” said Wyssman

After years of money problems dealing with the bridge project, funding finally came through this last year. The project will cost a total of $15 million to complete.

This is not the first hurdle the city has run into dealing with the bridge project.

From the beginning, one of the key sticking points of this project was building a walkway on land owned by the railroad, but in a meeting this week, all that was smoothed over.

City leaders recently agreed to pay BNSF Railway $469,000. As part of the deal, the bridge construction and maintenance will be done by the city. BNSF Railway will simply provide the land to make the bridge project possible.

For people like August, who work in the area, the bridge will mean there will be more places to check out.

"I think anything that opens up foot traffic would be interesting.  It would give us something new to walk around during lunch,” said Wyssman.

Construction will begin this spring and should be completed by 2018.

KREM


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