Barker Road/BNSF Grade Separation Project
The city celebrated the opening of the Barker Road bridge over the BNSF rail track with a ribbon cutting ceremony April 18. As part of the project requirements per BNSF and the TIGER Grant, two grade crossings were to be eliminated to improve safety – one at Barker Road and the other at Flora Road. The permanent closure of Flora Road will take place after the Barker Road overpass is open to traffic.
Construction started in March 2021 on the Barker Road/BNSF Railway Grade Separation Project and most work was completed by April 2023. The project was fully funded and estimated to cost $26 million.
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.
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
The city broke ground on the project with a celebration on March 5, 2021. View the following video 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 2021. The construction of a roundabout on Trent Avenue - a portion of the project - was completed in late fall 2021.
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.
- View selected project design (PDF) (note this is a very large file)
- View presentation of design alternatives from March 27, 2018 (PDF) (describes how Alternative 5 was selected as the final design).
- Intersection control analysis - May 23, 2018 (PDF)
- Consolidated traffic and safety analysis - updated July 10, 2018 (PDF)
- Traffic safety findings at the Trent Avenue/Del Ray Drive Intersection - July 31, 2019 (PDF)
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: $0.7 million
- WA State FMSIB (20%): $5.0 million
- Washington State legislative appropriation: $1.5 million
- National Highway Freight Program: $6.0 million
- BNSF contribution (estimated): $0.3 million
- TIGER Discretionary Grant (see note): $9.0 million
- City funds budgeted: $3.6 million
- Total Secured Funding (approximate): $26 million
Note: 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) (PDF) - awarded $9,020,149
- FASTLANE II grant application (PDF) - Barker/BNSF Project (FY 2017)
- FASTLANE I grant application (PDF) - Barker/BNSF and Pines/BNSF projects (FY 2016)
- Roundabouts: Myth vs. Reality (PDF)
- Why roundabouts work, and how to drive in a roundabout (PDF)
- View an aerial animation of how traffic might flow through the Trent/Barker intersection using a typical signalized intersection and a typical roundabout intersection.
Additional Information & Comments
The Washington State Department of Transportation is providing construction oversight on the grade separation project.
Title VI Notice to Public
It is the policy of the City of Spokane Valley to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, or sex, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and related State and Federal Statutes, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its federally-funded programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI rights have been violated may file a complaint via email with the City's Title VI Administrator or call 509-720-5111.
The City of Spokane Valley in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), commits to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability, in all of its programs and activities. This material can be made available in an alternate format by emailing John Whitehead or by calling 509-720-5111.