Fire Trucks Forced To Avoid Certain Bridges - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire Trucks Forced To Avoid Certain Bridges

SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Fire Task Team put together for Mayor Condon's 2014 Budget Proposal reviewed the bridges in Spokane and found several that are restricted for some of the fire engines and ladders due to weight limits.

"It is one thing if it is distance related or if it's, you know, traffic or bad weather as something that's slowing you up, but in some cases there are bridges we don't drive over even in an emergency," said Fire Task Force Chair Steve Salvatori.

Of the 56 bridges listed in the report completed by the task force, 19 on the list have restrictions for some of the heavier fire equipment.

For example, there are only two types of engines listed that can drive across the Maple Street Bridge over the Spokane River on a daily basis. All other types of engines can only cross in an emergency. Also on the restricted list, is the Theme Stream Bridge in Riverfront Park and also the TJ Meenach Bridge.

However, there are some that cannot be driven across at any time. Those include the Post Street Bridge in downtown Spokane, the Howard Middle Channel Bridge, and the Howard South Channel Bridge.

Even in an emergency situation there are a few that can only be driven across if the fire ladder is the only vehicle on the bridge and it has to drive down the middle. On that list, is the Howard North Channel and the Greene Street Bridges.

It is important to remember however, the restrictions do not mean the bridges are going to collapse if heavy equipment does drive across.

"The thing is, you only get so many trips over a bridge in its lifetime and you start overloading those trips and putting heavier loads than it was originally designed for, it wears on the bridge faster," said Mark Serbousek the Director Of the Spokane Street Department.

Everything changes over time, so when some of the bridges were built, the fire equipment was not as heavy as it is today. For example, the Post Street Bridge which is off limits to fire engines, was built in 1937. Each bridge has its own weight limit restriction that determines whether or not heavy fire equipment can drive across it.

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