Don Kardong Bridge to close Friday, renovations paid with COVID-19 relief funds

SPOKANE, Wash.– Starting this Friday, the Don Kardong Bridge will close.

Detours will be in place for pedestrians who need to get from Gonzaga University to the other side of the river, and vice versa.

However, along with these detours, what’s raising eyebrows is the source of funding for the repairs.

$2.2 million out of the $3.2 million in funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, allocated by the Spokane City Council.

Spokane Parks Director Garrett Jones says it’s because the Parks and Recreation Department took a big hit during the pandemic from all its programs being shut down.

“Approximately $7 million in revenue was hit and that’s about 30% of our budget, and I would say when you look at an increased use that we saw during COVID and we have a 30% decrease on our revenue, that’s not really a good business model to have,” Jones said.

Jones added that investing in infrastructure with sufficient funding is significant.

“Parks and recreations trail systems…our assets in parks and natural spaces are top priority,” Jones added.

The renovation work includes the replacement of bridge decking from wood to concrete, a new lighting system, and ADA-accessible platforms.

The construction will end around April of 2023.

The city of Spokane maintains 16 of all its pedestrian bridges, and they are planning to renovate more wooden and suspension bridges in the near future.

READ: Kardong Bridge to be renovated later this month