Sandpoint bridges to be inspected this week

The Long Bridge on US-95 and the adjacent pedestrian bridge near Sandpoint will undergo inspection this week to assess the need for future repairs.

Inspectors will use a boat and fly a drone underneath both bridges at the beginning of the week, with an on-the-bridge inspection of the Long Bridge on Thursday that starts at 7 a.m. and could last the entire day.

No lane closures are anticipated on the Long Bridge during this routine inspection, but travelers should expect slightly shifted lanes and be aware of reduced speeds throughout the area. The pedestrian bridge will not be impacted.

On June 14, an in-depth examination of both bridges will take place where inspectors will use the department’s newest UBIT, or under bridge inspection truck. This UBIT, which the bridge inspection crew named Kenny, has the ability to maneuver inspectors up to 62 feet under, around and in the substructure of bridges to check for signs of stress and recommend maintenance work.

Final repairs for both bridges are scheduled for 2022 and will help extend the service lives of the structures. The pedestrian bridge, which formerly served vehicular traffic across Lake Pend Oreille, was built in 1956, and the Long Bridge was built in 1981.

To follow Kenny’s path through the state, follow ITD on Facebook and use #catchKenny.