City seeks funding for bridge repairs rehabilitation

SANDPOINT — With rusty corroded piles and cracks in the surface of the bridge deck, Bridge Street Bridge needs some work.

The bridge provides the only vehicular access to City Beach, the Lake Water Treatment Plant, the train station and other private and public facilities on the east side of Sand Creek. A bridge inspection report by the Idaho Transportation Department in 2015 gave the nearly 50-year-old bridge a sufficiency rating of 33 out of 100.

"We had a structural engineer take a look at that bridge and make some recommendations — they looked at a few options and the option that was preferred was to rehab the bridge," Ryan Luttmann, city public works director, told City Council members Wednesday. 

During Wednesday's meeting, council members approved a request by Luttmann to apply for federal-aid funding to assist with rehabilitating the bridge. If approved for the funding the bridge will get a new deck, railing and expansion joints, as well as repair of the pier caps, girders, and rehabilitate the piles. With a sufficiency rating lower than 75, the bridge qualifies for consideration of federal-aid bridge funding through the Local Federal-Aid Incentive Program administered by the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council.

The cost of the replacement and repairs is approximately $1.3 million, and if the federal-aid bridge funding is approved, the city will be required to provide a local match of 7.34 percent.

"Rehabilitation of the bridge would be better than replacement in the fact that engineers believe we could keep access over the bridge during that process," Luttmann said.

The cost of the rehabilitation is also an estimated one-fourth the cost of full replacement of the bridge and will add about 25 year to the life of the bridge.

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