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Andi Elliott: Jefferson County’s London Bridges

May 20th, 2013 by Halli

by Andi Elliott, Jefferson County

I’ve seen the poster of the 9 bridges of Jefferson County that have been determined by the Idaho Transportation Department to be structurally deficient. And these bridges need to have diminished speed limits and weight limits and immediate repairs. I’m reminded of the nursery rhyme, London Bridge is Broken Down.

“London Bridge is broken down…How shall we build it up again?”

“We’ll build it up with gravel and stone,” or we can prop it up with railroad ties and plywood, as has been done in Jefferson County.

“Gravel and stone will be washed away….” or the railroad ties and plywood can slip and rot.

“We’ll build it up with iron and stone….” which probably would be prudent if we’re planning for long time structurally sound bridges and public safety.

One of my neighbors, upon hearing about the public safety hazards posed by the county bridge system, lamented about what would happen if a potato truck passed over such a bridge and brought it down. I’m thinking about what would happen if one of our school buses loaded with children were to result in “London Bridge came falling down”. Perish the thought and the law suits that would ensue. Am I the only one thinking that safe and reliable bridges are more important than a new high school?

Andi Elliott

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