US 395 - North Spokane Corridor - Rail area contamination

A soil contamination issue affects the alignment for North Spokane Corridor over the "Black Tank" property in the Hillyard rail corridor.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail corridor extends north and south and separates the Hillyard and Morgan Acres neighborhoods within the City of Spokane. Through the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, the BNSF corridor was selected as the preferred location for the NSC in part because the existing corridor minimized impacts to developed properties. The Final EIS identified hazardous sites involving soil contamination along the corridor.

The site is within the proposed path of the North Spokane Corridor. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is building the freeway to connect US Highway 395 to Interstate 90. WSDOT considered other alignment options due to uncertainty about how cleanup could impact the freeway design and construction schedule.
To keep the freeway on its original, preferred alignment, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and WSDOT entered into a framework agreement with BNSF. The framework sets the basis for WSDOT to continue design and construction of the freeway, provides WSDOT right-of-way access to BNSF’s property, and ensures that cleanup infrastructure can co-exist with the freeway. Learn more in WSDOT’s news release about the framework agreement.

The framework lays out some cleanup details so that WSDOT could include design features allowing for co-located cleanup infrastructure. The public had the opportunity to provide input on cleanup options in which several responses were received. Please see the Department of Ecology Black Tank website to learn more about the site and the cleanup process.

The photo below shows the contamination site. (North is to the left.)

Black Tank Contamination 

Original NSC Design from 1997