Bridging the Valley originated at SRTC. It was a series of over- and underpasses stretching from the City of Spokane to Athol, ID that would reduce the number of at-grade railroad crossings where vehicles could come in contact with trains.
At a recent Spokane Valley City Council meeting, representatives from Sen. Patty Murray’s office
and BNSF said a partnership was unlikely. The original plan was for the two competing railroads to use the same main lines through the region, reducing the number of grade-separations necessary.
Trains servicing and switching cars at the Inland Empire Paper mill in Millwood often back up traffic to Trent to the south during busy drive times. Other crossings, such as at Trent and Barker, have about 50 trains that go through per day. A BTV project to construct a bridge over that crossing is estimated to cost $29.2 million, and efforts to secure state and federal funding haven’t been successful so far.
That is too bad, I ended up waiting for a Union Pacific train going very slow at Sprague and Freya a few weeks ago.
When I was trying to get to the Felts Field Neighbor Days event a couple Saturdays ago, there was a trail stopped blocking access to Felts Field. There was a flagger out front who directed me about a mile down the road and around the train but he said it was shift change so the train would be blocking the crossing for about an hour!