Centennial Trail Don Kardong Bridge Improvements

Spokane, Wash.

The Don Kardong Bridge along the Spokane County Centennial Trail, in the city’s University District has forthcoming improvements. Named for Olympic runner and Bloomsday founder Don Kardong, the bridge is a pivotal point on the Centennial Trail, connecting the north and south sides of the Spokane River, and has long been in need of some love.

Since bridge upgrades are expensive and time-consuming, the Friends of the Centennial Trail Coordinating Council has worked for years to make these repairs a reality. And now, thanks to $1.45 million of American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, allocated by the Spokane City Council, this $2.3 million project is out for construction bids.

In addition to the ARP funding, the project will rely on a $726,000 Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office and $145,000 from local advocates and conveners, the Friends of the Centennial Trail (FCT).

FCT kicked off the project with a $55,000 grant to the Parks Department, starting the conceptual design and ensuring the project was shovel-ready for other funders.

Runners crossing the Don Kardong Bridge one mile after starting the Negative Split Half Marathon. Photo: Hank Greer
Runners along the Centennial Trail, crossing the Don Kardong Bridge, during the Negative Split Half Marathon. // Photo: Hank Greer

WWRP is the largest source of trail support in the state of Washington and has funded projects throughout eastern Washington, including Dishman Hills, the Spokane River, and other projects on the Centennial Trail. Preliminary work of meeting with stakeholders, reviewing designs, and securing permits had already been done and the vote of city council for the ARP funding closed the financial gap to make this happen.

According to a press release from Spokane Parks & Recreation, repairs will include deck replacement from wood to concrete, some concrete pier repair, replacement of the bridge overlooks and guardrails, installation of a new lighting system, and bollards at each end of the bridge. Work is scheduled to be complete in spring of 2023. The bridge will be closed for renovations, with trail reroutes to be determined by the city.            

Upon its completion, runners and cyclists using the bridge will no longer have to choose between rain-slicked wooden decking and rain-slicked diamond-plate steel, and mile 22 will be even more beautiful and rider- and walker-friendly.

Find more stories about the Spokane County Centennial Trail in the OTO archives and learn about other recent trail news and improvements.

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