Bridging the pedestrian-bike divide in Garden City

Onlookers watch as a new 175-foot-long pedestrian bridge is prepared for installation over the Boise River in Garden City Friday. A crane picked up the 60-ton West Bridge and set it in place crossing the river by evening, after a technical issue with the massive crane caused some delay. The cost of the bridge, a connecting path and much-smaller secondary bridge on the north side will run close to $1 million, Mayor John Evans said. The city got a $727,760 federal grant for the project in 2012. When finished, the West Bridge will connect the south-bank Greenbelt section in Garden City to the northside path that continues to Eagle. The bridge is west of Garden City’s Nature Path, a 1-mile pedestrian-only stretch of Greenbelt that starts at Glenwood. City officials and others who supported keeping the Nature Path pedestrian-only rather than opening it to cyclists said the new bridge would solve the conflict over bike access in that stretch of the Greenbelt. Evans said the bridge work will take through May, and Greenbelt users should not expect to use the new crossing until June 1 or later.