Idaho transportation agency presents river-crossing options

Officials from Jerome and Twin Falls counties in Idaho have announced plans to build a third rim-to-rim bridge over the Snake River connecting Twin Falls to the northern part of the state as the city continues to grow.

Currently, the I.B. Perrine Bridge and the Hansen Bridge are the only two bridges spanning the river within a 30-minute drive of Twin Falls, which has caused congestion and traffic delays, The Times-News reported.

The Idaho Transportation Department recently completed a study to determine traffic flow in the area and identified multiple options to reroute traffic around Twin Falls, including three possible river crossing options or rebuilding or widening the 44-year-old Perrine Bridge, which was built to last up to another 55 years.

Department District Manager Jesse Barrus in Shoshone told the Times-News that it could take up to 20 years to build a bridge over Snake River Canyon and would require environmental impact statements, cost-benefit studies and traffic analysis.

“Another river crossing is not only necessary,” Barrus said, “but feasible with federal grants and other partnerships.”

Jerome County Commissioner Charlie Howell said the commission put together an agreement on Friday to form a joint-powers commission with the Jerome County Commission.

Jerome County Prosecutor Mike Seib said an agreement would be presented to the commission before heading to the highway districts that would be involved in the project.

“This will be beneficial for everyone involved,” Howell said. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t sign it.”

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