North Spokane woman stranded after private bridge gives out

SPOKANE, Wash. — Imagine being stuck in your home for two weeks, unable to go anywhere. A bridge is the only way Judy Burke can leave her property, and the land underneath it collapsed.

Judy lives in North Spokane on Dartford Drive. She has a creek underneath a private bridge that goes to her home. To have a home away from the city, out in the woods, might be a dream for some people.

But that’s not the case when a little mudslide happened.

“I never dreamed this would be an issue,” she said, adding that she’s lived at that home for almost 30 years.

Two weeks ago, the land collapsed on the house side of the bridge. It pushed the bridge, damaging posts on the other end, making the bridge unsafe.

Since then, Judy has been stuck inside her home waiting for some help. She can walk on the bridge when the ground is frozen, but when it’s wet, that’s when it’s a real problem.

“The ground has gotten so saturated and the water run off has come down this hill, which has caused this mini land slide and my bridge has dropped approximately three feet down. It has moved forward approximately two feet,” she explained.

For 14 days, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions.

“I get excited and then I get let down. I get excited and then I get let down,” she recounted.

This is because someone said they would be able to fix it, and then finds out they actually can’t.

“I’ll have someone say ‘I’ll come out and do the work.’ ‘Oh, I’m sure I can fix that’, but then, ‘I found out I have to have this permit and that permit and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to get involved,'” she said.

She’s had some bids, after someone she met posted on the Nextdoor neighborhood app.

“I have met a lot of nice people through the neighborhood app, too. It just breaks my heart that they care about someone they’ve never met,” she said.

Some bids she received are incomplete starting at $15,000 and other bids went up to at most $45,000.

“I don’t want anybody to take advantage of a situation and say ‘Oh, well she can’t get out, so she’s going to pay anything,'” she said.

Judy said she is retired and on fixed income. Her homeowner’s insurance won’t cover this repair either.

“I’m not looking for a handout. I’m looking more for a hand up, I guess,” she said.

Right before this happened she went grocery shopping and stocked up the freezer and pantry.

“That was just sheer luck,” she said.

But for two weeks she hasn’t had fresh produce or milk. Judy said she could probably last another few weeks.

“To this point, I’m doing fine for food and I’ve got the chickens. They give me their eggs,” she said.

Hanging out with her chickens and walking around her property are about the only things she can do until she finds a solution.

“I’m going a little batty here,” Judy said, laughing.”It’s been very stressful, very emotional.”

If someone feels like they can help, Judy Burke said you can contact her at 509-468-8561.