AUGUST 12, 2010

Large equipment loads awaiting transport are now being kept at the Port of Lewiston. The first four ConocoPhillips equipment loads being moved from Port of Lewiston to Montana will be transported late August while both lanes of Arrow Bridge are temporarily open. Top photo by Charlie Pottenger

Arrow Bridge, located a few miles outside of Lewiston, will open both lanes of traffic Aug. 17, for about a week. Photo by Charlie Pottenger 

Arrow Bridge delay update; first four big loads to move

By Charlie Pottenger

   The eastbound lane of Arrow Bridge, near Lewiston, will re-open about Aug. 17 and then be closed again approximately one week later. At that time the westbound lane will close to complete the bridge rehabilitation. Work is expected to take an additional 35 working days to complete, leading to a mid-October finish. During the time when both lanes are open in late August four ConocoPhillips big drum loads moving from Lewiston to the Montana line will traverse the bridge.

   Mel Coulter, spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department, was interviewed in order to obtain the background for the Arrow Bridge project which began in May and will be finished in October.

   Following the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota the United States Congress authorized a nationwide inspection of bridges and made funds available to States to assist in bridge rehabilitation. Arrow Bridge, built in 1972 and one of Idahoís longer bridges, qualified for part of Idahoís funds. The project entails removal and replacement of the bridge surface and detailed maintenance of the entire structure.

   The surface repairs on the eastbound lane should be complete this week and structural maintenance will be completed so that an Aug. 17 reopening to two lane traffic is anticipated. During the time that both lanes are open four ConocoPhillips big loads being moved from the Port of Lewiston to the Montana line will move at night during low traffic periods.

   Work on the westbound lane will then begin and should take about 35 additional working days, leading to a mid-October end to the inconvenience and delays on trips from Clearwater County to and from Lewiston. The better bridge should be ready for many more years of service.