Latah Bridge Weight Restrictions Updated

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Friday, January 12, 2024 at 10:41 a.m.

City of Spokane has updated weight restrictions for the Latah Bridge just west of downtown Spokane as a result of the bridge’s most recent inspection.

“The Latah Bridge is more than 100 years old, and ultimately, will need to be rebuilt,” says Marlene Feist, Public Works Director. “In the meantime, we are continuing to monitor the health of the bridge and are making changes today to ensure public safety and support increased longevity.”

The new weight restrictions will mean some large vehicles, including garbage trucks, some construction vehicles and aerial fire trucks, will need to use other routes. The majority of Spokane Fire Department response vehicles will be able to use the bridge, maintaining response times for initial vehicles to arrive on scene. STA and school buses also are unaffected.

Impacted vehicles have detour options, including rerouting along Government Way and Riverside Ave. or I-90. State and local law enforcement agencies enforce weight restrictions on trucks and heavy vehicles traveling public roads to support public safety and safeguard vital transportation infrastructure. Not following the restrictions could result in a traffic violation and/or cause damage to the bridge.

Since 2021, Latah Bridge has been posted with weight limits for specialized hauling vehicles (single-unit trucks with 4+ axles). The updated restrictions are expanded to include single-unit trucks with 2+ axles and all specialized hauling vehicles that exceed 22 tons.

Last summer, the City Council adopted a resolution that made rehabilitation of the Latah Bridge a formal legislative priority of the City. The resolution is part of work that’s underway to seek grant funding for that project, which is estimated to cost $65 million.

Weight restrictions are determined on a case-by-case basis for each bridge. These are based on the results of the load rating process, which considers the original bridge design, age, condition, and other factors. The weight restrictions remain in place until there is a change to the structural capacity of the bridge. Nationwide, about 60,000 bridges (10 percent) are restricted with a weight limit.

Fast Facts:

  • Built in 1913, the Latah Bridge is 110 years old.
  • Due to deterioration, traffic was restricted from four lanes to two lanes in 2012 and sidewalks were closed, however, pedestrians and bicyclists could cross in the closed lane areas.
  • The Latah Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.