Weiser River bridge to be replaced

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by Stephanie Zepelin

NWCN.com

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 9:45 PM

WEISER -- One bridge out in Weiser is nearing its final days, and will soon be replaced.

When the bridge over the Weiser River was built in 1935 gas was less than 20 cents a gallon, a new car was $580, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.

It is one of 99 bridges in Idaho that was built in 1936 or earlier, and most of those have had repairs or facelifts, but not this one.

"It's handled more than 100,000,000 vehicles across that bridge deck in its lifespan," said Reed Hollinshead of the Idaho Transportation Department. "When that bridge was built it was a narrower bridge, certainly less traffic to deal with. It's already lived far beyond its lifespan, and it's time to replace it."

Carmen Pedroza owns El Noa-Noa, a restaurant right across the bridge.

"Well, we feel a little worried about that because we don't know how it's going to be for customers, and we think it's going to be a little slow traffic," said Pedroza.

Most people we asked, including Pedroza, said ultimately a new bridge is a good thing for Weiser, and construction is not a major concern.

Now, 78 years after it was built, time has come for a new bridge.

"Ideally, a bridge is meant to last about 40 to 50 years. But at current funding levels, those bridges are having to last 120 years, and until the funding changes, that's what we have to work with," said Hollinshead.

ITD is asking for your thoughts on another bridge project. ITD is hosting public workshops to get comments on a project to replace the Broadway Bridge in Boise.

The first workshop will be Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Group Plaza.

They will use the comments to create different design options for the project, to be presented to the public this summer.

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