The Idaho Transportation Department has released thousands of digitized photos from their files for the public’s enjoyment. I took my first look at the database recently and decided to pull together a little series of bridges gone bad.
This is an old bridge at Cataldo, circa 1910. It shows the distorted trusses and the temporary braces put in place to stave off a complete collapse. It’s doubtful there is any remnant of this old bridge today.
This is the collapse of the Parma Bridge. It looks to me like it was probably 1950s, by the way the men are dressed.
Perhaps the most dramatic bridge collapse in the ITD files is this one, which caught a Union Pacific Bus as it tried to cross. This may have been a bridge across the Bear River. Does anyone have any information about this incident?
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Rick Just has been writing about Idaho history since 1989 when he wrote and recorded scripts for the Idaho Centennial Commission’s daily radio program, Idaho Snapshots. His latest book on Idaho history is Images of America, Idaho State Parks. Rick also writes a regular column for the Idaho Press.
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The audio link below is to Rick's Story Story Night set called "Someplace Not Firth"