Friday, April 15, 2011


NEIGHBORLY NEWS Contributed by concerned residents

Marcia Hefner needs help with the bridge project. As you know, the state has designed a huge new bridge to replace our quaint one-lane wood bridge. It is wider than Davey's bridge, down on Banks Lowman road, and 7.15 feet higher above the current bridge, so it will be a huge build up on both sides to get up to the bridge and off the other side.

Apparently, letters of support of building a new bridge were signed way back like 2003, by the City Council and County commissioners at that time, but it just blows us away to think that the state did not actively keep the City of Crouch involved in the design process and then just last month drop the final design concept on everyone.

Then the county is being told "if you don't like this and we stop it or
redesign it, you will be on the hook for $285,000, that has been spent so

A Meeting with the Commissioners is scheduled for next Monday, the 18th, at 6:30 p.m., at the Senior center. This is an opportunity for community members to get information and make comments about the bridge.

Marcia, to date, has collected over 400 signatures, in opposition to the design, as presented last month.
Some thoughts to consider for Monday's meeting and come up with your own.

1) Address the $280,700+ the County has spent on traffic study, surveying and engineer plans. This was suggested as a dilemma of the commissioners. I don't believe the money was wasted on the first two items--they were needed by ITD. As to the third, why would we have to pay for plans we were not consulted about? Clearly (I wrote the first article last year about the bridge) our ideas were not taken into consideration at all! I remember the ideas, some were mine. But if we blew a few bucks on plans, okay.

2) We have funding, right? So we need to get the County behind this. Get some figures on the safety of covered bridges, if that is what the town wants. Include statistics of accidents on this bridge...? Cover any points of debate they might bring up.

3) Emphasize this is a back road now, not the main bridge for Middle Fork Road any more. It is a rural Crouch community bridge, not a Garden Valley-Banks Lowman intersection.

4) With that, surely these skilled engineers could design a safe bridge that meets the city image and expectations. They can use all of their engineering innovations to create a small, attractive and long-lived bridge. Work with the community, not against--so much easier, non? I was told that considering aesthetics adds more cost. Well, they have not considered the aesthetics we asked them to and it has cost us for them to create plans for an ugly, unnecessary bridge we said we did not want in the first place. They need to be accountable for this! And if they gripe about a covered bridge, have some alternatives in mind. Bring ideas!

5) And to that, if WE are being funded by federal stimulus money, WE applied for it, didn't WE? They are funds for us and our need, not what the ITD wants. All the money that it would cost to build this monstrosity would be put to best use by building something more to the scale of necessity at this river crossing into the small, rural town of Crouch. Surely the cost of the work and materials for that over-the-top bridge would would be plenty to cover the cost of our cost-effective, safe and historically-appropriate town bridge.

Encourage them to consider preserving our small-town-America ideals by boldly bringing them into the 21st century! Perhaps a little ego-titillation wouldn't hurt--why not create something that will be historical and attention-grabbing--it will be our (and their) ticket into fame.

(Incidentally, I heard there is no covered bridge in Idaho--but I believe there is one on Hwy 21, built in 1977, maybe 5 miles south of Idaho City.) ~Angel~

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  1. Hopefully the whole community will turnout for this meeting to express their opinion on the proposed bridge. As a community we need to emphases what we want and how it should look to meet the aesthetics of Crouch.

  2. I won't be able to make the meeting on Monday, but I would like to sign the petition against the new bridge:
    Dee Purchase
    52 Gooseberry Creek Lane
    I can be reached at