Bridge construction delayed, stranding North Spokane woman months later

SPOKANE, Wash. – It’s been a whirlwind few months for many of us, going through the pandemic. Maybe more so for one North Spokane woman who’s been stranded in her home.

In February, 4 News Now reported on Judy Burke when she asked for help to fix a private bridge going to her home.

Burke has been walking through the woods and around her neighbors home to get her mail in front of her property. She used to be able to walk across the bridge from time to time, but not anymore.

In February a mudslide caused her bridge to fall a few feet. She was unable to drive over it, but was able to walk across it when the ground was frozen.

The bridge fell in the creek just last week.

“It’s been such a roller-coaster. I’m really concerned about my sanity at this point,” she told 4 News Now.

Right after 4 News Now did the story, a contractor reached out to Burke saying they’d be able to help her for $18,000. She met with them and they helped her move her car across the bridge.

“I was so grateful and I told them would you give me a quote to do the work, and they were very good people, very nice,” she said.

Afterwards, they said she had to pay half up front to help fix the bridge, which she did. The two agreed on a start date of March 5, but Burke said no one showed up.

“I was given multiple start dates which didn’t happen. I was given multiple excuses why the work couldn’t begin and in the mean time, the bridge kept getting worse and worse until here,” she explained, adding that the contractor wouldn’t respond to her emails or phone calls.

Burke said Dexter’s Demo kept putting off the work, citing there were delays with equipment rentals and permits because of the virus.

One permit that had to be filed to fix the bridge is through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The bridge goes over a creek, so Fish and Wildlife have to be involved to make sure there isn’t any damage to any habitat.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife said a permit was never filed at Burke’s address, but they were familiar with Burke’s case as she’s reached out to them. A search with her address in Spokane County’s permit portal came up empty as well.

4 News Now reached out to Dexter’s Demo which provided a statement:

“There were complications on the client’s side and we have an attorney involved, and no further comment from here.”

We asked for the attorney’s number, but the owner wouldn’t give it to us, saying that their attorney had not been briefed about what was going on. Dexter’s Demo wouldn’t answer any further questions.

After a police report was filed, Burke said Dexter’s Demo told law enforcement that they could do the work or send her a refund. In an email sent Thursday to Burke, Dexter’s Demo said it’d give her a partial refund.

“They say they want to charge for permits, I don’t have a problem with that either if they can show me receipts of these permits,” she said. Burke added that the business took some bolts out of her bridge and she was willing to pay for that, too.

Burke says now she just wants her bridge fixed and her money back from the contractor, so she could hopefully find another person to fix it.

“Be careful when you’re hiring a contractor, even when you do all the right things. I checked the Better Business Bureau, I did a search online,” she said.

In the previous story, Burke told 4 News Now her homeowner’s insurance wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of fixing the bridge.

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