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The city’s Public Works Team Chairman Fred Waidely told the September 17th meeting of the Salmon City Council that during a team meeting held earlier this month a preliminary report was delivered on the condition of the Island Park Bridge.

Waidely said the full report will be available in November but so far the bridge super structure is sound however, the underwater abutments are being undermined.

Later in the council meeting Steve Frazee of Frazee Engineering elaborated on the bridge’s condition as determined on September 6th during an underwater inspection by Collins Engineering. Included in the report was flow data which shows water is currently running under the bridge at a rate of approximately 960 cubic feet per second. The highest flow ever recorded by the United States Geological Survey gauge occurred in June of 2011 when it reached 13,000 cubic feet per second.

Frazee said a six foot long footing has broken off the eastern bridge abutment and has moved out and away from the bridge and is partially buried in the riverbed. He also reported the bridge’s east abutment, which is a bridge support, has a four foot wide hole about a foot and a half deep under the abutment. Frazee called the east abutment condition report “the good news.”

The inspection discovered the entire west end abutment is undermined. He said the three foot deep hole under the abutment extends eight and a half feet behind the support and is actually starting to wash out the access road’s backfill. Frazee said the amount of undermining is causing yet another concern.

The bridge is a popular platform for youngsters who enjoy summertime diving into the river. Frazee said the underwater abutment inspector reported that while in the river the current was trying to push him into the hole under the west end abutment. The experience showed him a diver could get caught in the cavity beneath the abutment and his advice was to close the bridge to diving.

Frazee said the final report will come with drawings and more details.

Returning to other Public Works business Waidely said the team reviewed policies regarding delinquent utility payments and thought a longer period of time before disconnection should be considered or an automatic disconnect when delinquencies reach $500. The suggestions will be discussed with the City Clerk and City Finance Director before making a formal recommendation.

The Riverfront Drive road sign which was removed by the Idaho Department of Transportation has been relocated to a power pole and as of September 17th was still in place.

Waidely said the team discussed the undeveloped state of 10th and 11th streets. City Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt said there has been no request from area residents to develop the streets.

The next meeting of the Public Works Team will be on October 8 at 2PM in the Salmon Valley Center Meeting Room.

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