Released by the Idaho Transportation Department:
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will begin construction to replace the superstructure of the Clearwater Memorial Bridge starting this summer and continuing up to two years. The project will enhance safety, functionality and economic opportunity in the region. Constructed in 1951, some components of the Clearwater Memorial Bridge are nearing the end of their service life.
In water work will commence mid-July and consist of placing riprap. This will prevent erosion of the riverbed around the bridge foundations. Crews will be working from barges for this construction phase. We anticipate this work 5 days a week; 7AM – 5:30 P.M. and completing around early September.
Because the work is being completed from barges, the vehicle traffic across the bridge will not be affected during this stage. Boating traffic on the river may be affected during working hours and vessels are encouraged to proceed with care around the buoys.
Future improvements will include building a new bridge deck with wider lanes, shoulders and sidewalks. The existing piers and girders that support the bridge deck can be retained. The new bridge will improve the load rating of the bridge and bring it up to current load-rating standards.
Work on the bridge is currently scheduled to begin on August 15, 2023 at which time all traffic will be shifted from four lanes to the western two lanes. Pedestrian access across the bridge will not be allowed for the first phase of bridge construction, which is expected to last about 10 months. During this time a shuttle will bring pedestrian traffic including bicyclists from one end of the bridge to the other. ITD expects increased traffic congestion during construction and encourages motorists to search for alternative routes that do not use the Clearwater Memorial Bridge.
The public is invited to an informal open house at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel on Tuesday, August 8 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. PST to learn more about this project. ITD will share plans to accommodate drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists during the next phase of construction closer to the date.