A popular suspension bridge used by sportsmen near the Idaho-Montana border has collapsed.
The U.S. Forest Service said the Stoddard Park Bridge is no longer available for public use.
The bridge spanned the Salmon River and is located about 38 miles west of the town of North Fork. It is just downstream of the confluence of the Middle Fork Salmon River and the Salmon River. The bridge is an important access point for stock and hikers into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area.
“It is unfortunate that this has happened and it’s a great loss. The Stoddard Pack Bridge provides important access into the wilderness for many recreationists including hunters, fishers, and hikers” said Ken Gebhardt, North Fork District Ranger.
Engineering and safety personnel with the Salmon-Challis National Forest are assessing the site today. Officials have not yet determined the cause of the bridge’s collapse, but say there is some indication that a rock or debris slide may be the cause.
River users should be aware of possible debris and cables in the river and the public is urged to avoid the area due to hazardous conditions.
No word yet on when the bridge might be rebuilt.