Monday, April 22, 2024

$11 million to be spent on Shoshone bridge projects

Staff Writer | February 2, 2024 1:00 AM

KELLOGG — More details have been made public on three bridge replacement projects planned in Shoshone County. 

The three projects are all bridges that span the Coeur d’Alene River; Including the Bunker Avenue Bridge in Kellogg, the Two-Mile Road Bridge near Osburn, and the historic Silver Bridge near Albert’s Landing – according to the information from LHTAC, the three projects are anticipated to cost a total of $11.2 million to complete. 

The projects have been completely funded through Idaho Senate Bill 1359, commonly known as Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Leading Idaho plan passed in 2022. The plan was designed specifically as a state-funded program to fix older, load-restricted bridges. $400 million in state surplus dollars was allocated to the program.

All three Shoshone County projects are currently in their design phases, but the historic Silver Bridge project will begin its construction phase this year.

Beginning in September 2024, construction of the new bridge will require a full closure of the existing roadway, which will result in traffic being detoured north to the Bumblebee Cutoff Road for anyone trying to access areas along the Old River River Road, including Albert’s Landing Campground. 

The Silver Bridge project accounts for $4.9 million of the total dollars that will be spent. 

In 2020, the bridge received a 2 out of 9 on its annual inspection and had its load limit reduced to 6,000 pounds, barely enough to allow an empty full-sized pickup truck to traverse it. 

The urgency to finish the design and begin the construction during the 2024 calendar year stems from the current state of the near-century-old, single-lane bridge.

The other two projects, in Kellogg and Osburn, won’t begin until March 2025.