The Lower Thurmon Creek Bridge has been removed due to the rotting supports. | Courtesy photo
ISLAND PARK — The Lower Thurmon Creek Bridge in Harriman State Park is gone. Park officials announced the bridge’s closure on Jan. 2, due to safety reasons.
The four-decade-old structure served as a significant trail connection for hikers, skiers and snowshoers in the park. In a news release, park officials says it had a distinct sag because of its age. Its support were rotting and was no longer safe for people to cross.
“The bridge has more than fulfilled its purpose and lived a full life,” Park Manager Jess Brumfield says.
The sag in the bridge can be seen in the image above. | Courtesy photo
Park personnel have removed sections of the bridge until a new one can be installed. Currently, there is no access to cross the creek just below the dam on Silver Lake. Plans to replace the bridge are in the works, which is scheduled to happen in July.
“The park and IDPR are excited to replace it with a stout new version, thus ensuring future generations with access to Harriman’s trails and outdoor wonderland,” Brumfield said.
Friends of Harriman State Park, a citizen support group serving as a fundraising and volunteer partner for the park, is raising $75,000 towards purchasing the new bridge package, according to its president Sally Neill.
Though it will be similar to the bridge that was built over the Henrys Fork two years ago, it will be much smaller. The Thurman bridge will be about 45 feet long and 12 feet wide. Timber trail wood will be used in its construction and it will have a four-inch wood curb and handrail.
The new bridge will look similar to this. | Courtesy photo.
“Until the bridge is replaced later this summer, visitors will need to detour onto the main road a short distance before accessing the trail again,” Neill said.
Replacing the bridge is part of a five-year initiative to enhance the trail system in Harriman State Park.
“Trails are the most important aspect of the park,” Neill said. “We did two community and user surveys two or three years ago … and the number-one concern was improving the trails.”
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and park staff will manage “all aspects” of the installation.
“We have a great trail system there, and its trails are pretty much the number-one concern for everybody,” Neill tells EastIdahoNews.com.
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