Bicycles / Pedestrians




Bridging the Valley





Bridging the Valley

What is Bridging the Valley?

Bridging the Valley (BTV) is a study conducted in 2006 that proposed separating vehicle traffic from train traffic in the 42 mile corridor between Spokane, WA and Athol, ID. A map of the corridor and proposed project sites within it can be viewed below.

The separation of railroad and roadway grades in this corridor—which includes 75 railroad/roadway crossings— was aimed at promoting future economic growth, traffic movement, traffic safety, and train whistle noise abatement.

What is the Status of BTV?

The priority of BTV projects continues to be evaluated by regional decision makers, especially in light of severely limited transportation funding resources and the need to secure commitment from the railroads. The recent Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), Horizon 2040, recommends projects and programs to be completed between 2014 and 2040. The list of recommended projects includes three BTV projects that are considered "regionally significant." SRTC classifies a project as regionally significant if it:

The most recent BTV project to be completed is the Havana Street Bridge, constructed by the City of Spokane in 2012. The three regionally significant BTV projects listed in Horizon 2040 are the Barker Road Overpass, the SR27/SR290 Underpass and the Sullivan Road Bridge. The remaining BTV projects do not, at this time, fit the definition of regionally significant and therefore are not listed in Horizon 2040. That could change in the future and with updates to the MTP in coming years.

What Improvements Does BTV Offer?

By removing all the identified at-grade rail crossings, Bridging the Valley proposes to:

What Projects Does BTV Recommend?

If constructed in its entirety, BTV proposes to:

The map below shows the overall alignment of projects and associated roadway and railroad grade crossings. Click on each of the grade crossings for more information and detail or click the link below the map for the fact sheet for each individual project.

Napa Pines Havana Spokane River Barker-Wellesley Harvard Idaho Rathdrum Brunner Highway 54 Helena Madelia Park Argonne Sullivan Starr Pleasant View Greensferry Highway 41 Ramsey


What is the Timeline?

As of late 2013, there is no substantial funding available to construct any of the proposed BTV projects.There is a small amount of money allocated to two future BTV projects; the Barker Road project has received $1 million in earmarks and there is $5 million in federal funding available to put toward the Pleasantview Road BTV project in Idaho. Those projects have not been started, or scheduled, as that money will only fund a portion of each project.

It is not clear at this time when money will be available to move forward with any BTV projects.

How are environmental concerns being addressed?

As projects moves through the engineering and environmental processes, the responsible jurisdiction will determine what permits and approvals are required; the appropriate level of environmental analysis; whether the project would adversely affect any threatened or endangered species, the aquifer, or wetlands along the route; and the answers to any other important environmental questions.