University District Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge
June 29, 2013 3 Comments
Cost is presently estimated at $14 to $16 million (the $16 m is in a document I received in email) for the University District Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge. Three years ago, promoters sold this project saying the “bridge may cost up to $8 million” – but carefully leaving out the other associated expenses.
In three years, the price tag has doubled.
Similar pedestrian bridges elsewhere cost in the $1/2 million to $4 million range.
To give that price context here are the costs of other bridges:
- Replacement of the older half of the 339 foot Argonne Road Bridge over the Spokane River – $6 million (in 2004).
- Rebuilding the Barker Road Bridge –$11.8 million
- Replacing the west half of the Sullivan Road double wide automobile bridge spanning the Spokane River – $19.7 million.
- Cost of temporary Interstate 5 Skagit River bridge replacement – $15.6 million.
Does $16 million seem appropriate for a pedestrian/bike bridge that will have diminished use in the coldest months of the year?
Update: As someone who likes to ride a bike, I support the concept. But a bike bridge costing $16 million, more than most automobile bridges in the area, is not supportable.
Update: Proponents defend the bridge expense by arguing its not just a bridge – its a $16 million municipal art project creating an icon that will make Spokane nationally and even globally famous. Students will choose to attend WSU-Spokane because of the bridge, they argue. It’s not just a bike bridge, its not just an art project, its a marketing program! Gag. See the comments to this for additional information.
Update July 9: There is a popular meme that the University District has a fast growing student population. However, the data that is available shows the combined student enrollment at GU and WSU-Spokane is flat to slightly downwards over the prior five years. This claim of a fast growing group of students is not true.