Spokane Valley is excited to announce that on August 11, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded $21,689,221 for the construction of the Pines Road/BNSF Grade Separation Project. Funding comes from the USDOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program, which invests in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. The RAISE program prioritized awards for projects that deliver equitable transportation modes for all users.
Also, in July 2022, the city was notified of two additional funding awards for the project:
Mayor Pam Haley said, “The city is thrilled to share this tremendous news. This is a huge win for our city, region, and state. Funding this project has been a top transportation priority for over five years and will greatly impact our community for the better. I would like to personally thank our legislators, Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, and Representative McMorris Rodgers. They have continually fought for this project at the federal level and there is no way this project succeeds without their support. We are all grateful for their efforts.”
The Pines/BNSF Grade Separation Project will replace the existing at-grade BNSF crossing on Pines Road with an underpass, and redesign the adjacent signalized Pines/Trent intersection with a roundabout.
On average, 65 BNSF Railway freight trains and two AMTRAK passenger trains travel through the Pines/BNSF Railway crossing each day, resulting in nearly 31,000 vehicle hours of delay each year. BNSF plans to add a second main track to the existing rail line, possibly as early as 2023. A second track will likely increase train traffic and vehicle delays. In addition, about 35,000 vehicles pass through the adjacent Pines/Trent intersection, including freight trucks from Canada and northern Idaho. There were 49 collisions in or near this intersection from 2017 to 2021. Pines Road is also the primary access to nearly 230 acres of nearby undeveloped mixed-use, commercial and industrial land in the area.
The proposed improvements will:
Included in the project is the construction of a new trailhead for the Centennial Trail and associated parking lot, equipped with restrooms, electric vehicle charging, and non-motorized access to the trail and Spokane River.
The trailhead will be located in three parcels donated by Avista Utilities, which are valued at approximately $800,000. The project is located in a USDOT-designated Historically Disadvantaged Community, which has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Completion of the Pines/BNSF Grade Separation Project will improve access to nearly 170 acres of undeveloped mixed-use, commercial, and industrial land, and help attract new businesses and jobs to the Spokane Valley economy. Over 25 years, the projected economic and tax impacts include:
More information regarding the project's benefits are outlined in this ECOnorthwest Economic Benefits Study.
The project is estimated to cost nearly $40 million as of August 2022. Groundbreaking is tentatively planned for spring 2024. Funding raised at this time includes:
Washington State Department of Transportation
Project Letters of Support
RAISE grant application (2022)
RAISE grant application (2021)
BUILD grant application (2020)
BUILD grant application (2019)
CRISI grant application (2018)
BUILD grant application (2018)
FASTLANE II grant application - Pines/BNSF Project (FY 2017)
BTV - Local Agency Environmental Classification Summary
Consolidated Traffic and Safety Analysis
Senior Engineer, City of Spokane Valley