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Federal grants target 8 Idaho bridges

Update: 8-30

The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) has confirmed four of the bridge improvement projects are intended to be bundled under one contract in southeast Idaho.

The specific projects include the Carson Street Bridge over the Portneuf River in Pocatello, the Higbee Avenue Bridge over Butte Arm Canal in Idaho Falls, the East 121st South Bridge over the Idaho Canal in Bonneville County, and the Minnetonka Road Bridge over St. Charles Creek in Bear Lake County.

Federal, state, and local officials will now begin construction planning process for the regional “bundle”.

Original Story:

The U.S. Department of Transportation Thursday announced plans for a major infrastructure investment in Idaho.

D.O.T. Secretary Elaine Chao said $6,289,000 in grants have been earmarked to improve eight bridges in Idaho. The announcement came during a speech at the Coastal Region Transportation Summit in Biloxi, Mississippi.

A D.O.T. official told us the work includes bridges in Bear Lake, Bingham, Bonneville, and Bannock counties, but did not specify which ones

Chao said the bridges were in poor condition and selected because they would support economic activity and improve connectivity to local roads.

According to DOT, the project will support “an innovative technology” that will use geo-synthetic, reinforced, soil-integrated bridge systems.

By law, the funds were restricted to states with population densities of less than 100 people per square-mile, based on census data. The funds must be used on bridges that leverage “bundling” at least two highway bridge projects into a single contract.

“The projects funded under the program will serve as models for similar bridge improvement projects throughout the nation,” said Federal Highway Administrator Nicole R. Nason. “They are examples of how to achieve time and cost savings through innovation.”

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