TWIN FALLS — Aside from a winding trail, Rock Creek Canyon runs wild below the Old Towne Bridge of Shoshone Street South.
From a path along the rim southeast of the bridge, huge trees obscured the bridge from view on Oct. 5. The beauty of the surrounding wilderness was marred by trash strewn into the canyon. On the opposite side of the bridge, pipe remnants from a sewer project littered the canyon floor.
The bridge seems to be less about looks than function — connecting people from one side of town to the other. Southbound traffic passes by the Parks and Recreation Building and over the bridge to be greeted by a brightly colored Mexican market, a health club and a gas station.
How it came to be
The Old Towne Bridge of Shoshone street was completed in 1993 over Rock Creek Canyon to replace the 1920 “Singing Bridge” — named so because of the metal deck, added in 1954, that made a singing noise as vehicles drove over it. The noise was amplified by Rock Creek Canyon’s walls. The Singing Bridge’s predecessor was short-lived and had been demolished in 1916.
According to Times-News archives, the Singing Bridge was closed to commercial truck traffic in 1990. It was later demolished after being declared structurally unsound.
“Since the bridge was important to the industry in south Twin Falls, the city scrambled to build a replacement bridge north of the Singing Bridge,” a 1992 Times-News article stated.
That likely referred to the Victory Bridge, which had been built one year earlier.
Improvements since then
In 2010, Idaho Transportation Department did an epoxy overlay on the deck and concrete waterproofing on the parapets and sidewalks. The project also involved patching and repairing concrete and replacing expansion joints.
How it’s holding up
In April, the Old Towne Bridge was considered to be in “good” condition, with no major repairs needed. ITD District Engineer Devin Rigby said capacity on the bridge is not a problem or a restriction at this time.
At 24 years old, the bridge still has a lot of life left in it, Rigby said. It is expected to last at least another 25 years before a major reconstruction is needed.