Moscow likely to apply for grant to fix bridge

Cars drive past a damaged section of bridge Monday on East Sixth Street in Moscow.

The Moscow City Council likely will apply for a $100,000 state grant to help repair or replace a bridge on Sixth Street, near Mountain View Road, which was damaged during April’s flooding.

On Monday, the Moscow Public Works/Finance Committee recommended the city submit a grant application to the Idaho Department of Commerce’s Idaho Community Development Block Grant program. The city council can approve the grant submittal at Monday’s regularly-scheduled council meeting.

Moscow Senior Engineering Technician Nate Suhr told the committee the edge of the road eroded away, and the culverts and headwalls sustained damage.

To preserve safety, Suhr said, crews replaced a portion of the road base and put temporary asphalt pavement on top. The city is working with the Idaho Transportation Department to place barriers along the damaged guardrails until a permanent solution is determined.

Suhr said most of the construction alternatives are for bridge replacement rather than repair.

Committee member Jim Boland seemed to favor bridge replacement.

“Otherwise we’re throwing $150,000 at something that’s going to be a million dollars at some point,” said Boland, who based his $1 million cost estimate from the expected cost of a motor vehicle bridge over Paradise Creek at Third Street.

Bettge agreed.

“Sure would be nice to fix the bridge the right way once instead of halfway, and then again,” Bettge said.

The city has received the bridge repair and replacement estimates, but they were not disclosed during the meeting because the proper city staff were not in the office Monday to review them.

The flood occurred April 9. Mayor Bill Lambert declared a local disaster emergency the next day.

Moscow Grants Manager Alisa Anderson told the committee President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration on June 12 for several Idaho counties, including Latah County.

While infrastructure was damaged throughout the city, the majority of the destruction was along Mountain View Road from F Street to White Avenue, including the Sixth Street bridge, Anderson said.

Because Sixth Street is classified as a collector street on a federal aid route, the bridge did not qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, Anderson said.

She said she and other city staff then looked at other funding resources that could help pay for the damages. They determined the city was eligible for the ICDBG that helps fund post-disaster repair and replacement projects.

City staff estimates reimbursements from FEMA and other funding sources of about $69,000 for expenses incurred during the flood.


Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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