Mountain-Express: Wood River Bridges Deteriorating


Wood River Valley residents are receiving a dire warning about the condition of Blaine County bridges: either fix the 54 spans soon or face possible closure.

This morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that some of the bridges are more than 80 years old and the county's road and bridge manager says if repairs don't start soon, "Those bridges are going to be downgraded and heavy trucks won't be able to pass over them." 

And the cost of replacing a bridge is estimated at approximately $350,000.

The Mountain Express reports that four of the county's bridges were recently downgraded by the Idaho Transportation Department:

- Little Wood Reservoir Road over Muldoon Creek (that bridge is 60 years old).
- High Five Road over Little Wood River (an 80-year-old wooden bridge).
- A bridge over Big Wood River at the mouth of Colorado Gulch (it's 50-plus years old).
- West Glendale Road over an irrigation canal (not scheduled to receive money until 2018).

 “There comes a point that it’s time to either rebuild the bridge or close it,” Blaine County Director of Operations Char Nelson told the Mountain Express. “These are tough choices that the residents of Blaine County will have to decide.”

Meanwhile, in a presentation earlier this week to the board of directors for the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department said that 2013 data indicated that stretches of Interstate 84 were in poor condition.

In particular, on eastbound I-84, ITD rated a stretch between Franklin Boulevard in Nampa and Franklin Road in Caldwell was poor due to cracking. On the westbound I-84, also between Franklin and Franklin, the stretch was rated as poor due to cracking and roughness.