The Washington State Department of Transportation is investigating crumbling concrete on the Hamilton Street overpass, specifically the east side of the 2nd Avenue ramp to Hamilton northbound, which heads towards the Spokane River and Gonzaga's campus.
Decorative capstones and a pedestrian safety fence that cover the top of the concrete wall have come down. WSDOT believes that over the years, the freezing and thawing of ice in the soil have caused one of the capstones to become dislodged and fall. The weight of one of the capstones and weight from the chain link fence pulled more capstones off of the wall. WSDOT says that the highway itself has not been damaged.
WSDOT crews are working on the scene to stabilize one capstone so they can remove the hanging fence. The repairs that will be done to replace the fallen capstones has not yet been determined. During the repair work, there may be some lane and/or ramp restrictions. Spokane Regional Transportation Management Center says the 2nd Avenue ramp to Hamilton northbound at State Route 290, between I-90 and Trent, is closed Wednesday afternoon until further notice.
Authorities were alerted after a passer-by called the KHQ news room and said she saw chunks of concrete laying on the ground and could clearly see the part of the external structure of the bridge they had once been.
(story: Nichole Mischke, KHQ Right Now Reporter, and Katie Karl, Content Coordinator, KHQ.com; photos: KHQ.com)