BOISE -- The newly constructed Broadway Bridge over the Boise River is finally complete and opened to vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians today.
The Idaho Transportation Department promised to have the $20.2 million project finished by the Boise State football team's home opener against Washington State on Sept. 10, and made good on fulfilling that promise.
Construction began in January of this year, but the planning and design work for the bridge began back in 2012. Officials say the old Broadway Bridge was built back in 1956 and no longer met the needs of the community.
ITD Director Brian Ness, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Boise State University President Dr. Robert Kustra and other dignitaries joined together for a ceremony this morning on the new bridge.
Businesses along Broadway Avenue welcomed the road opening again. Many told us that they saw a significant decrease in business during the eight months the road was closed.
The bridge was last remodeled in 1956, so after 50 years of wear and tear it was due for an upgrade.
It’s been a headache for drivers having to deal with all the construction around bridge, but four years after it project was announced it looks great, and the city couldn't be happier to start using it.
District Three ITD Board Member Julie DeLorenzo said the project wasn’t easy, but is well worth the wait.
"It's going to connect the southern part of the state directly for downtown Boise commerce is going to flow freely though here again and get on to other parts of the county and on to the west,” said DeLorenzo.
ITD says if they had gone with the traditional method of doing a project like this, one side of the street at a time, this project would have taken two years to complete.
The new bridge is fully open with three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and 10-foot sidewalks on each side. All lanes of University Drive, Myrtle Street, Front Street and the north and south Greenbelt are also open.
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