Sorry, Greenbelt bicyclists, we wish we had better news.
One day a bicycle/pedestrian bridge will connect the Eagle Greenbelt on the north side of the Boise River to the Garden City path on the south side of the river. It’s just not clear when.
The original projected completion date for West Bridge was the summer of 2013, but that got pushed back to December. Now Mayor John Evans is shying away from any sort of completion timeline.
“We hope to break ground this year. Variables in the federal compliance protocols, weather and river flows could impact the scheduling,” he said this week. It has not gone out to bid yet.
The bridge is of keen interest to Valley cyclists looking for a continuous Greenbelt ride between Boise and Eagle. Now westbound bicyclists aiming to connect with Eagle’s path on the north side of the river are forced to take a 2.5-mile detour through the Riverside Village subdivision; the path on the south side of the river some challenging spots that Eagle city officials are hoping to fix (including replacing a small bridge at a river overflow channel).
Evans updated the council on the project at Monday’s council meeting, explaining that the most recent hurdle cleared was figuring out the best place to access the site — more than a mile west of the Glenwood Bridge — with a 400-ton crane.
The shortest route to the site is through the Clements Concrete property, and the company already has access roads that can support heavy equipment. Evans said Clements has agreed to assist in the project, and that helped the city clear a big hurdle.
Other routes would have required construction of access roads and would have been much more expensive, and environmental impact studies would have to be completed first.
Garden City received a $727,760 Federal Highway Administration grant to design and construct the bridge.