Construction workers waiting for equipment to be lowered from Idaho 21’s High Bridge near Lucky Peak didn’t expect the delivery to include a truck and its attached boom. When they saw the truck lean toward the bridge railing and topple over the side, they scrambled from the path of the plummeting truck about 160 feet below.
More than a month later, scattered pieces of the truck and its boom arm were retrieved by helicopter from the shores of Lucky Peak Reservoir. Most of the pieces were recovered Thursday in an operation that required intermittent closure of the highway. The operation, expected to take two days, was interrupted because frozen ground refused to relinquish its grip on some of the pieces Friday.
Another attempt is scheduled for the week of Dec. 19.
A construction crew watched helplessly as the truck and boom began listing toward the edge of the bridge on Nov. 11. When it became apparent the load – truck, boom and all – was destined to join them at water’s edge, they scrambled out of the way. The truck’s operator also jumped safely from the cab before it toppled to ground. One worker standing on the road next to the truck was hit and then pinned between the truck and the bridge guardrail. He was transported by ambulance to a Boise hospital with injuries that were not considered life threatening.
Crux Subsurface Inc., crews were under contract to the transportation department to inspect soil and rock near the bridge footings.
ITD crews assisted with traffic control Thursday while a helicopter removed pieces of the truck and boom.
“As spectators watched from the rim of the canyon, a pilot maneuvered the terrain and brought out pieces of the wreckage, one-by-one,” according to KTVB-Television reporter Mike Vogel. “Home video shows the work from the ground as crews connected the debris to a tow line, which was then hoisted into the air and brought to a waiting dump truck.”