ITD crews in the Treasure Valley are on high alert around the clock as prolonged flooding sends debris down river, creating blockages on bridges.
Entire trees have been uprooted by Boise River flows that well exceed the average. Currently, the river is at 8800 cfs at the Glenwood St. measuring station. This brings the water level close to the bottom of the bridge. You can watch a video of crews clearing debris from the ID-52 bridge in Emmett below.
Increased debris and higher water levels create more hazards to bridges. Branches can catch on the supports or bridge girders, which can lead to a domino affect of accumulating debris. This debris can raise the river levels more and adds pressure to the bridge supports. Left unchecked, this could lead to catastrophic failure.
To combat this threat, ITD has crews monitoring the bridges. They routinely check for debris build up and signs of stress on the bridge. Several excavators are also parked by bridges, which can be used quickly to break up any build up.
By patrolling regularly and stationing equipment nearby for ready use, ITD is positioned to keep this year’s record flooding from causing disaster to our road system.