By Megan Sausser
ITD Office of Communication (D1/D2)
Sometimes it’s hard to tell just how tall a bridge is while driving over it, but there are a few individuals at ITD who routinely spend their days suspended below these structures.
They can tell you that measurement and more, and this summer they scrutinized a few noteworthy structures in the northern half of the state.
Jim Holland, Toby Griffin and René Leon make up the inspection team for North Idaho, and with the help from local operations personnel, they provide a valuable service every year to Idaho drivers.
ITD is tasked with inspecting more than 4,200 bridges in the state, with most structures scheduled for inspection every two years.
This summer, Veterans Memorial Bridge on Interstate 90 east of Coeur d’Alene, the Moyie Bridge on US-2 east of Bonners Ferry and Lawyers Canyon on US-95 south of Craigmont were all due.
On the Moyie Bridge inspection, T.J. Gibson, Clint Roney and Dylan Mitchem from District 1 were able to assist the inspection team by using Tootsie, the smaller under bridge inspection truck (UBIT), to clean the structure. This happened ahead of the inspection team in Kenny, the department’s latest and greatest UBIT.
Griffin notes that having support from operations while inspecting a bridge is critical, both in prep work, traffic control during inspection and addressing any maintenance needs afterwards.
Later this month, Lawyers Canyon will receive inspection via a drone, followed by a visit with Kenny in October.