|STODDARD BRIDGE DEBRIS|
REMAINS BEING REMOVED 4-24-17
Last week, the Salmon-Challis National Forest implemented an emergency contract to remove debris in several locations along the Salmon River that resulted from the Stoddard Pack Bridge failure in mid-March.
The 348 foot suspension bridge, which crossed the Salmon River just below the mouth of the Middle Fork, was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1937. It provided the only bridge access from Salmon River Canyon to the remote Stoddard and Papoose Creek portion of the Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness and is no longer serviceable to the public.
The wood debris below the north tower was removed as well as debris that was accessible to crews down river as far as Corn Creek Boat Launch. The main cables remain attached to anchors at both ends. The Salmon River Road remained open during work with a few minor delays while crews repositioned equipment so visitors could pass.
A small amount of inaccessible debris remains in the river. This debris is currently all grounded on rocks. However, it is likely that these sections of decking will move downstream as river levels rise. The biggest hazard is for boaters when the wooden segments refloat and move downstream. It is likely that the sections of decking will lie relatively flat on the water and be difficult for jet boaters, rafters, and kayakers to see.
For additional information, please contact the North Fork Ranger District at 208-865-2731.
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