Construction crews on Monday began replacing Big Wood River Bridge, which is located on Idaho 75, near Ketchum, Idaho.
The goal is to finish the project before the annual spring runoff begins, increasing Big Wood River levels and making the work harder to complete.
Crews also will install stormwater pollution prevention measures. The construction crews will work inside the channel of the river, where they will need to build abutments and a center pier deep inside the edge of the river.
Crews will combine the current five-lane portions that are north and south of the bridge with the new lane configuration on the bridge. During the project, traffic will be reduced to two lanes of traffic, one in each direction.
When the project is done, the new bridge will be able to carry four lanes of traffic, as well as a safety median and widened shoulders. Additionally, the length of the bridge will be increased to give wildlife easier passage beneath the bridge.
“There are some complex aspects to this construction project, from the active roadway to the varying water levels and environmental sensitivity of the area,” Justin Price, the project's engineering manager, said. “We will be taking every precaution to ensure a successful project and a long-lasting bridge.”