Instead of ending up in a landfill, girders from damaged overpasses and interchanges are being collected by the Boise Fire Department for a new training site.
"We’re trying to make a rubble pile that would simulate a collapsed structure,” said Brent Ho, a Special Operations division chief with the Boise Fire Department. “When we have our search teams enter the collapse zone, they would maneuver through to reach a victim.”
Ho said the fire department is storing the girders on land near the intersection of Gowen and Production roads. The department is continuing to gather materials, and needs some additional land to build the maze-like structure.
Six girders from the Broadway Avenue Overpass were given to the fire department. Two girders from the Cloverdale Road Overpass also were given. The department also will get two girders when the 10 Mile Overpass is worked on.
Ho said the fire department also is working with construction companies to have other material donated for its training site.
The Broadway Avenue Overpass was the most recent one damaged. It sustained intense heat damage on Sept. 16 when a semi crashed near it and caught fire.
Work started on Thursday evening to remove the span of the Broadway Overpass over eastbound I-84. It will cause weekend lane and ramp closures.
One lane of eastbound I-84 will remain closed until Monday morning at 6 a.m., and the eastbound I-84 on- and off-ramps at Broadway Avenue have closed. One northbound lane will remain open on the Broadway Avenue Overpass.
Motorists may access Broadway south of the bridge via Federal Way. Traffic north of the bridge can access eastbound I-84 at the Vista Avenue or Gowen Road interchanges.
Demolition is being confined to the section of southbound lanes that extend over eastbound I-84. The new supports and deck will then be rebuilt.
The southbound lanes on the Broadway Avenue Overpass will remain closed to traffic until bridge repairs are complete in early November.
The bridge repair coincides with the 6.1-mile I-84 Broadway to Eisenman rehabilitation project, which began in September. ITD has added the bridge repairs to its agreement with Western Construction of Boise, the contractor for the Broadway to Eisenman Project.
As part of the pavement rehabilitation project, the westbound on- and off-ramps at Gowen Road will close to all traffic starting on Monday, Oct. 15. The ramps will reopen in early November. I-84 lane restrictions will be in effect at night near the Broadway Interchange, and 24 hours a day near the Gowen and Eisenman interchanges.