Survey: Where should historic Salmon River bridge be rebuilt?

This aireal image shows the existing and proposed sites for rebuilding the Stoddard pack Bridge near the Middle Fork of the Salmon River confluence.

Editor's Note: Thanks to everyone who participated in this survey. We pulled the survey down March 9 at about 12:30 p.m. and will forward results to the Forest Service. As a preview, though, more than 95 percent of you (about 100 responded) want to keep the bridge in its historic location. 

It's been almost a year since the historic Stoddard Pack Bridge, which spanned the Salmon River downstream of North Fork, collapsed and fell into the river after being struck by large rocks. Now the U.S. Forest Service is considering moving the bridge.

The federal agency is weighing two options identified by engineers. One would place the bridge at its historic location a half mile below the Middle Fork of the Salmon River confluence. The other would place it just below the confluence.

The historic 348-foot suspension bridge was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1937. It provided the only bridge access from the Salmon River Canyon to the remote Stoddard and Papoose Creek portion of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area. 

Both the Middle Fork and Main Salmon rivers are federally protected Wild and Scenic rivers where the Forest Service must take into account the canyon's scenic, ecological and historic attributes in its bridge reconstruction planning.

Banner photo of the Middle Fork confluence in the winter by Jerry Meyers