WEISER A two-lane bridge over the Weiser River that has been in use for 78 years will be replaced later this year.

Idaho Transportation Department officials say more than 100 million vehicle trips have been taken across the old bridge. It is one of 99 bridges in the state that was built before 1936 and is still in use today. There has never been any work done on the bridge located just south of town.

Starting in March, the bridge will be replaced with a new three-lane structure. The $4.8 million project is expected to be finished by the end of 2013.

The old bridge has lived out its life and needs to be replaced, said David Barrett, ITD project manager. The new bridge will also be as much as four feet higher in elevation than the original, which should aid in flood relief. The threat of flood is an annual occurrence each spring for the Weiser River.

The amount of driveable space will nearly double on the new bridge, which is used by about 7,300 vehicles per day.

The new bridge is also expected to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists with wider buffers and sidewalks on each side.

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