A lot of people keep asking when the gap in the Greenbelt over the Boise River near the Plantation Golf Course will be fixed. The bridge at Plantation Island was lifted off its abutments on April 3, 2017 due to extreme flood levels of the Boise River. The possibility of the failure of the bridge and the danger it posed to the Glenwood Street Bridge rallied a coordinated effort by Ada County, Ada County Highway District and the City of Boise to lift the bridge from danger. The damage left behind to the island and abutments from the over 9,000 cfs flow of the Boise River was extensive.
Fortunately, the emergency declaration by the Governor for the overall flooding event allowed the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands (IFPL) to apply for grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help with repair costs. The downside was the total number of disasters in 2017 across the USA. Hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and massive forest fires in California stretched FEMA resources in the review and approval process of emergency grant funding.
In late June 2018, Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands received approval from FEMA for partial funding of the project to restore the Greenbelt Bridge at Plantation Island. The total cost for repairing both abutments, restoring the island bank on the north side of the greenbelt, lifting and placing the bridge back in place, plus repairing the pathway between the 2 bridges, including all permits and review processes is about $160,000. While FEMA will reimburse the majority of the expenses, because this portion of the public Greenbelt is owned by IFPL, a public non-profit, IFPL must cover the remaining balance of the total repair cost. IFPL seeks to raise $46,000 before fall so that bid requests for repairs may be issued, awarded and work completed while the Boise River is at winter flow levels. The ability to work on the bridge abutments only comes around once a year, from about December to March while the Boise River is at a maintenance flow level of 400 cfs.
Between now and October, the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands will reach out to recreationalists, bike and commuter groups and municipalities to raise the $46,000.
The land, the bridge and the Greenbelt at Plantation Island were originally gifted by different donors who had a vision of a great Greenbelt trail system throughout the Treasure Valley. Most Boiseans do not know the story of all the people involved in securing the Greenbelt trail system yard by yard and mile by mile. But, as we walk and ride our bicycles along these wonderful pathways, we all can appreciate what they were able to accomplish. It is time, once again, for Boiseans to step up and contribute to this wonderful community asset by helping the Idaho Foundation for Parks and Lands to fill the gap.
To make a gift or to find out more, contact Jan Johns at IFPL: