Suspected rock slide destroys forest bridge

SALMON, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – The landmark Stoddard Pack suspension bridge on the Salmon-Challis National Forest has collapsed.
Forest Engineering and Safety personnel are assessing the site, but say the bridge is no longer serviceable to the public. The exact cause of the collapse is unknown, but there is indication that a rock or debris slide may have been the cause.
The bridge crossed the Salmon River about 38 miles west of North Fork, adjacent to the Salmon River Road (#030) downstream from the confluence of the Middle Fork Salmon River and the Salmon River.
The bridge had been an important access point for stock and hikers into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area.
Debris and cables are still in the river channel.
The forest has not decided if the bridge should be considered for reconstruction.
“It is unfortunate that this has happened and it’s a great loss,” said North Fork Ranger District Ranger Ken Gebhardt.”The Stoddard Pack Bridge provides important access into the wilderness for many recreationists including hunters, fishers, and hikers.”