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Wallace City Council approves bid for Sixth Street Bridge

by JOSH McDONALD
Staff Writer | February 23, 2024 1:00 AM

WALLACE — During a special session earlier this month, the Wallace City Council approved a bid for the replacement of the Sixth Street Bridge. 

The bridge, which crosses the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River and provides access from Wallace to the communities of Prichard and Murray, was put under severe weight restrictions six years ago.

About five years ago, a temporary bridge was placed across the structure to allow heavier vehicles to pass over it. The temporary bridge has remained in place ever since. 

Apollo Construction, a Washington-based, Native American-owned construction outfit, was the lowest of the five bidding groups, at $3,788,755.

That bid is nearly $2 million higher than what had been projected for the project’s completion in 2022. But due to numerous roadblocks, the project never got out for bidding and was pushed back. 

Initially, the city was told that it would only need roughly $12,000 in match monies to get the project started, but that number ballooned to $54,000 in 2022.

The cost has increased exponentially.

Wallace City Clerk Kristina Larson said the city had already put $119,000 into the project, but due to the significant difference between the engineer’s previous estimate and the final bid, they will need to pay an additional $96,000 to get the project going. 

The city has applied for emergency funds through the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council to help offset these costs but had not received a response as of Feb. 22.

Continued use of the temporary bridge will be necessary until the project is complete, but the city may be able to recoup some money by selling the temporary structure in the future.

Shoshone County had previously expressed an interest in purchasing the bridge to use, but with ongoing financial restrictions at the county, it’s unknown if the interest continues.

Due to the warmer weather, Larson said Apollo would like to get started on the project next month.