BOISE — The Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands said Tuesday that it has raised sufficient funds from more than 170 private donors and multiple partners to restore the Plantation Greenbelt pedestrian bridge to its original location by early April.
“The Plantation Greenbelt bridge provides a crucial link between the Boise River Greenbelt, the Garden City Greenbelt and a portion owned by Ada County in that location,” said Idaho Foundation for Parks and Land spokesman Steve Stuebner. “Following the ‘Snowmageddon Winter of 2017,’ extremely high flood water on the Boise River rose to more than 9,000 cubic feet per second, undercutting the foundations of the steel pedestrian bridge. Engineering experts recommended temporary removal of the bridge to avoid losing it to flood waters and seeing it flow downstream -- where it could have caused a disaster at the Glenwood Bridge.”
The Plantation bridge was removed by crane on April 3, 2017.
“Looking back, that was an extremely smart decision to remove the bridge and save it for future use,” said Judy Peavey-Derr, a former Ada County Commissioner and board member of the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands. “The Foundation has been working very hard over the last two years to raise sufficient funds, apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds, and work through environmental engineering and permitting issues to restore the bridge to its original location."
“(The bridge) is such an important nexus for Greenbelt users, bridging the Greenbelt pathway from the north side of the river to the south side as it continues to the city of Eagle and beyond,” she added.
The Plantation Greenbelt steel bridge was donated to the Foundation by the late Ron Yanke and his wife, Linda, and placed into service in 1990. Yanke Machine Shop built the bridge to benefit the community. There were no issues with the bridge use until the epic flood flows occurred in Spring 2017.
After the bridge was removed for safety reasons, the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands has worked to raise funds to repair the areas around the bridge footings on Plantation Island and restore the bridge to its original location.
A total of $200,000 was needed for the project.
The Foundation raised $117,000 to cover local match requirements, and FEMA funds came through to cover the balance, officials said.
(photo courtesy: Steve Stuebner)