Barker Road/BNSF Grade Separation Project
Construction started in March 2021 on the Barker Road/BNSF Railway Grade Separation Project and will continue through late spring 2023. The project is fully funded and estimated to cost $26 million.
Project update 3/7/2023:
A new bridge (overpass) that separates train and vehicle traffic on Barker Road is nearly complete. The city is working closely with the main project contractor to open the bridge and Barker Road as soon as possible. Fabrication and installation issues with the required metal fencing that must be installed on the bridge deck (as required by BNSF Railway prior to allowing vehicles to use the bridge) has delayed the road's opening. As soon as the contractor completes the required fencing and provides a date to the city to open the road, the city will issue a news release and reader boards will be placed near the site two weeks in advance to notify the public. The city appreciate everyone's patience.
North Barker Road is closed to through traffic near the BNSF Railway line and Trent Avenue. Business access and garbage/mail service are being accommodated. Businesses on North Barker between Euclid Avenue and Trent can be accessed from the south only. Drivers connecting to or from Trent can use North Flora and East Garland (preferred business detour route) or North Sullivan Road (alternative route via Euclid) to access Barker.
The Barker Road/BNSF grade separation project will improve safety by replacing the existing at-grade BNSF Railway crossing on Barker Road with an overpass and constructing a roundabout at the Barker Road/Trent Avenue intersection. This will allow for the eventual closure of the Flora Road/BNSF Railway crossing.
When completed, the new overpass and roundabout will:
- Improve emergency access for vehicles
- Eliminate vehicle wait times averaging about 162 minutes per day at each of the two BNSF crossings
- Reduce overall traffic congestion and improve traffic flow
- Eliminate the need for trains to sound their horns, making adjacent neighborhoods quieter
- Improve access to the industrial area
- Enhance the ability to develop almost 600 acres of industrial property and attract new businesses and jobs
Project ground breaking
The city broke ground on the project with a celebration on March 5, 2021. View the video below to learn more about the project and event, and hear from state senators and representatives and partner agencies that helped to secure funding for the project.
Construction on the project started March 8, 2021 and will likely continue through late fall 2022. The construction of a roundabout on Trent Avenue - a portion of the project - was completed in late fall 2021. The construction of an overpass on Barker Avenue to separate train and vehicle traffic continues.
One of six alternative designs considered during the planning process, the selected design is cost-effective, ensures adequate infrastructure to accommodate future growth, improves safety, and helps promote economic development in the nearby industrial areas.
This project enhances the develop-ability of almost 600 acres of commercial/industrial property. Full development of the area is expected to:
- lead to $2 billion in total economic output in the state ($980 million in direct impacts),
- support 9,800 new jobs in the state (3,300 direct job impacts),
- generate $12.3 million in new general fund taxes to the City of Spokane Valley (over 25 years), and
- create $50.8 million in new general fund taxes to Washington State (over 25 years).
The city received a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant for $9 million in 2018. This grant provided the final funding necessary to move the project forward.
|Total Project Funding
| Federal earmark
| WA State FMSIB (20%)
| Washington State legislative appropriation
| National Highway Freight Program
| BNSF contribution (estimated)
| TIGER Discretionary Grant*
| City funds budgeted
| Total Secured Funding (approximate):
*The Barker/BNSF grade separation project is one of just 41 projects nationwide to have received 2018 TIGER funding, and is the only one in the state of Washington.
TIGER IX Discretionary Grant application (FY 2017) - awarded $9,020,149
TIGER IX & INFRA support letters (2017)
FASTLANE II grant application - Barker/BNSF Project (FY 2017)
FASTLANE II support letters (2017)
FASTLANE I grant application - Barker/BNSF and Pines/BNSF projects (FY 2016)
FASTLANE I support letters (2016)
Additional information and comments
Barker Road/BNSF project flyer (pdf)
The Washington State Department of Transportation is providing construction oversight on the grade separation project.
Senior Engineer/Project Manager
City of Spokane Valley