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Idaho Nonprofit Launches Fundraising Effort for Restoration of Bridge Over Boise River Near Plantation Island


A major Boise River crossing damaged by flooding could be replaced in the near future, but the Idaho Foundation for Parks & Lands, which owns the bridge and is spearheading the project, said it needs help from the public to do it.

"It's a major arterial. It crosses East to South, and it's been down for over a year," said IFPL Executive Director Jan Johns. Not having the bridge in place for an extended period of time, she said, has "put a real cramp in the style of people who use it for commuting as well as for enjoyment."

In sum, the restoration of the bridge at Plantation Island near Plantation Country Club will cost between $160,000 and $200,000. It and some portions of the surrounding Greenbelt were heavily damaged during major flooding in the spring of 2017, but due to a glut of national disasters that included wildfires in California and devastating hurricanes in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds were stretched thin, and it wasn't until June of this year that it was able to extend matching funds to the Boise River project.

IFPL is now reaching out to the public, and local bicycling and pedestrian groups, to cover the $75,000 remaining balance of returning the bridge to its former location. Time is of the essence: Due to FEMA construction regulations, crews must complete their repairs between December and March.

"This winter is critical to get that work done because of FEMA's guidelines," said IFPL Treasurer Stephani Hilding. "The project has to be complete by April of 2019."