One bridge down, two to go
Construction crews demolished the old Orchard Street Bridge in Boise Friday (Oct. 23) night while most people slept. Their work makes room for a new bridge at that location. Two more long-standing bridges over I-84 are destined for the same fate – Meridian’s Ten Mile Overpass (circa 1964) in late November, and the Vista Interchange Bridge (1969) near the Boise airport in mid-December.
The Orchard bridge was brought down in two phases – the middle three spans over I-84 traffic came down Friday night, and crews removed the two outside spans Saturday (Oct. 24) night. Penhall, the same company that took down the Black Cat and Robinson bridge spans in Meridian and Nampa in fall 2008, again made short work of the structures.
Unlike with those earlier bridges, however, this demolition did not leave a hole in the horizon where the bridge used to be. Most of the new bridge is already in place, just west of where the old bridge stood.
Traffic was switched over to the first five lanes of the new Orchard Bridge Oct. 17, and the other three lanes of the eight-lane facility will open this winter. The entire Orchard Bridge project is due to finish next spring.
McAlvain Group of Companies is the prime contractor on the $15.1 million project.