ITD probes underbelly of stately Perrine Bridge
Biennial inspection shows arched structure in fit condition

Nick Coltrain, The Times News
Underneath the Perrine Bridge, as drivers put up with the bottleneck he created, Jim Holland looked up.

He maneuvered the bucket on the Reach All Truck to move closer to the bottom of the bridge, for a better look at the details of its welds and to check the integrity of thousands of bolts.

The drivers above probably assume those details are in tip-top shape.

It’s Holland’s job, as a bridge inspector for the Idaho Transportation Department, to ensure they are.

“It’s just a slow process,” Holland said after finishing his Tuesday inspection. “A lot of detail to look for.”

With about half of his every-two-years inspection finished, Bollard gave the bridge passing marks. He still has the west side of the bridge to go over today.

ITD spokesman Nathan Jerke said bridges are typically designed to last about 50 years — the Perrine is about 35 years old. But with proper upkeep pointed out by folks like Bollard, they can last much longer.

“This one, with proper routine maintenance, should have a lot more birthdays than that,” Jerke said.

He added later that the bridge should run into issues meeting traffic needs well before structural issues arise.

After this inspection, the next thing on the docket for the Perrine is a complete resurfacing of its road next summer. The project will take about one month and shut down half of the road.

Photo: Compliments of the Times News, Twin Falls

Published 7-29-2011