Moscow gets grant for new Sixth Street bridge

A vehicle drives across a culvert Friday near the intersection of Sixth Street and Mountain View Road in Moscow. Moscow recently won a grant for transportation infrastructure with plans to transform the existing culvert into a bridge with sidewalks.

Moscow received a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to construct a new elevated bridge on Sixth Street that will include sidewalks, bike lanes and a flood-resistant design.

The bridge will be constructed over Paradise Creek near the intersection with Mountain View Road. It will replace the existing culverts that have sustained damage from age and recent flood events in 2017 and 2019.

Moscow City Supervisor Bill Belknap said the capacity of those culverts is limited, so when Paradise Creek overflows, the water floods over the roadway. Belknap estimates about three feet of roadway has been lost on each side from erosion over time.

“It’s certainly not in good condition,” he said.

To deal with flooding, the city narrowed the roadway and put up concrete barricades.

The new 24-foot bridge, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, will be elevated to avoid future flooding.

Also, it will be wide enough to include sidewalks and bike lanes. It is one of several projects on or near Mountain View Road the city is planning. Moscow expects to begin construction of a roundabout this year at the Sixth Street and Mountain View Road intersection.

“In conjunction with the construction of a roundabout at Sixth and Mountain View, traffic flow and pedestrian and bike safety will be greatly enhanced in the vicinity,” Mayor Art Bettge said in a statement about the new bridge. “A grant of almost a million dollars is a rare event and all of us, the citizens of Moscow, should be really happy that these monies have been made available.”

Belknap said the city typically doesn’t have enough money in its budget to tackle a project of this magnitude, so it feels very fortunate to receive this $955,000 grant. The grant will be matched with $515,000 from the city.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little said in a Department of Commerce news release that the new bridge “will provide a safe east-west connection for the city, filling a gap in the transportation system that had been taken away by flooding.”

Sixth Street is a main corridor that connects residential neighborhoods with downtown Moscow.

“The infrastructure investment in a new bridge over Paradise Creek will help many sectors of Moscow’s local economy continue to grow and thrive,” said Sen. Mike Crapo in a news release.

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