The 400-foot-long bridge was built sometime in the 1920s so that pedestrians and cars could go from downtown Sandpoint to the railroad depot. As travel by rail became less popular, so did the bridge. By the 1970s it had fallen into disuse. The city blocked off the decaying bridge to traffic.
In the early 80s city officials were thinking about tearing it down when local entrepreneur Scott Glickenhaus approached them with an idea. He had seen the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence, Italy. That bridge had housed shops as well as functioning as a bridge since the 13th century. Why not something like that in Sandpoint?
The derelict bridge was reinforced with new pilings, and a new enclosed structure was built on top of it from tamarack timbers. Shop spaces were built and rented. The bridge/mini-mall was opened in 1983. Coldwater Creek leased a small space on the bridge in 1988. Then a small mail-order retailer in Sandpoint, this was Coldwater Creek’s first retail store.
By 1995, Coldwater Creek had leased the entire bridge, which is about 16,000 square feet of space. In 2005 Coldwater Creek converted a downtown building for its use and moved out of the bridge.
A Sandpoint group purchased the bridge in 2006 and put over a million dollars into renovations. Today the Cedar Street Bridge hosts cart vendors, restaurants, gift shops, and boutiques and is a key feature of downtown Sandpoint.