Bridge's Troubles Over; Idaho Replaces One of Worst Spans in Nation

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The Dover Bridge on U.S. 2 was replaced using federal funds.
  • Idaho Transortation Department
  • The Dover Bridge on U.S. Highway 2 was replaced using federal funds.


An Idaho bridge that was once a poster child for America's crumbling infrastructure and highlighted by Popular Mechanics as one of the worst spans in the nation was replaced Oct. 26.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter made the trip to the small community of Dover to dedicate the new bridge on U.S. Highway 2.

The Bonner County resort town has a population of approximately 550.

In a symbolic but memorable moment, former Dover Councilman Jim Janish once dumped a chunk of concrete broken from the bridge onto a table at an Idaho Transportation Board meeting as part of a 20-year struggle to secure funding for a replacement.

This is what Popular Mechanics wrote in 2008:

"Idaho's Dover Bridge sees about 5,000 vehicles per day, and we don't envy the drivers. The bridge scored an outrageously low 'sufficiency rating' of 2 out of 100 in the National Bridge Inventory. Last year, a 30 x 30-in. piece of the deck was found hanging by its rebar. Replacing the bridge would cost $25 million; the funds have not materialized."

Funds were earmarked as part of the Obama White House's 2009 economic stimulus package.

"It's a great day because a lot of people were tenacious," Otter said at the ceremony.

The bridge has stood for 75 years.

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