Bridges are Fascinating: Some Idaho Favorites
In every state, there are certain icons that the state is famous for. Washington, for example, is known for the Space Needle. And New York is known for is the Statue of Liberty. In Idaho, for many people is only known for potatoes. Despite this lack of knowledge, there are structures in Idaho that are well designed and used--and somewhat famous. Perrine Bridge is connected to Evil Knivel's lore. Bridges are constructed with the utmost skill and precision. These bridges in Idaho were designed for a practical purpose; some were made to help residents be able to travel across the state more efficiently, while others were constructed to allow companies to transport their cargo. Whatever the purpose for constructing, these bridges are used today for both what they were originally designed for, and for recreation as a point of history.
The Perrine Bridge is the 4th highest arch bridge in North America. This expansive bridge crosses a massive 486 feet above the deep canyon of the Snake River at Twin Falls. Spanning a distance of 993 feet between sprigings and approximately 1,500 feet long, it's no surprise that this bridge was deemed the 4th largest in the U.S. This bridge has a 4 lane structure with two 7 foot wide sidewalks on either side of the bridge.
Perrine is the main way to travel from Twin Falls area to Jerome County and interstate 84. Because of this, Perrine Bridge was originally named Twin Falls- Jerome Inter-county Bridge. After $650,000 spent on the bridge, the bridge was finished in 1927 as the highest bridge in the world. Privately constructed, the bridge was a toll bridge but in 1940 the bridge was purchased by the state of Idaho and the toll was eliminated.
As the years progressed, the original structure of the bridge became old and unsteady. Because of this, reconstruction took place in 1973. After three years of reconstruction, the bridge was once again deemed worthy to carry people and cargo across.
The Perrine Bridge is not only a way to travel across a canyon. This bridge is also a place where many people go to find major adventure. As the only bridge in the U.S. where BASE jumping is legal year round without a permit, it is not uncommon to see people jumping off the bridge for the thrill of falling 48 stories with a parachute. BASE stands for the four land-based categories that people jump off of, building, antenna, span, earth.
The Dent Bridge
Located near Orofino, Idaho, the Dent Bridge was constructed in order to cross Dworshak reservoir. Named after a family of homesteaders who lived on the west end of the bridge in 1895, Dent bridge is a historical landmark.
Dent Bridge was opened in 1971 as part of the historical transportation improvement project in Idaho during that era. This improved the construction of the 717 foot high Dworshak Dam. With the length of Dent Bridge being 1050 feet, this is the second highest bridge in North America.
Hensel Phelps, the founder of the bridge, believed that the bridge would be able to help the logging companies in that area. Because of this, the bridge was designed to hold a fully loaded 110 ton logging truck. With two lane crossing Dent Bridge has improved the speed and efficiency to which travel and movement can work in Idaho. Interestingly, much of the braces of Dent bridge were built underwater, making the bridge appear to float on the surface of the water. Due to the expert construction, Dent Bridge was declared an "American Institute of Steel Construction Award of Merit 1972 long span" winner.
Grandad Bridge is located in Clearwater County, Idaho. It is a deck truss bridge over North Fork Clearwater River on Grandad Bridge Road. With the design of a deck truss, this is one the most sturdy bridges in Idaho. The largest span on the bridge is 504 feet and the total lenge is 1,208 feet.
Around Grandad Bridge, there are many opportunities for recreation. Because it is located near Dworshak Reservoir, there are many campsites around in the fresh mountain air. This reservoir 4 miles long has plenty of places for boating. Whether you like tubing, water skiing, or wakeboarding, Dworshak's crystal clear water is the place for you. Next to Granddad bridge, there is a launch available to load your boat in the water. Also, next to the bridge are many picnic places available for a day trip.
Bridges in Idaho are used both practically and for their recreational values, but whatever their purpose it is clear that the bridges Idaho are constructions that will last. Each one is a place to visit with an adventure to be found. Whether you enjoy getting a thrill of BASE jumping and trying something new or spending a relaxing day riding in a boat, Idaho's bridges are a place to visit and an icon for this state.