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Public invited to Tuesday celebration for opening of West Bridge in Garden City

Garden City officials will gather Tuesday afternoon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new West Bridge, which provides a much-desired bicycle and pedstrian crossing over the Boise River.

A ceremony is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. on the north side of the river. Public parking is available on Tributary Lane near State Street and Ulmer Lane, and on the south side on Duck Lane off of Marigold.

A crane put the 175-foot, 60-ton bridge in place in May, but the finishing work had to be done before it was opened up to users. Also, a much-smaller secondary bridge had to be installed on the north side of the river.

Check out this video of bicyclists and joggers using the bridge last week.

The bridge has been in the works since 2012. It is a critical link in creating a safe corridor for bicyclists and pedestrians traveling between Boise and Eagle. Read city updates about the project online.

Here’s a cool aerial video of the bridge by that was posted to YouTube by Jeremy Erickson.

Garden City has a pedestrian-only Nature Path on the north side of the river – so bicyclists had to dismount if they wanted to use it to connect with the path to Eagle. Now bicyclists headed west can ride on the Greenbelt on the south side of the river, then cross to the north side at the West Bridge.

West Bridge and the smaller bridge cost about $1.2 million, with $727,760 of that covered by a federal grant obtained by Garden City. The rest of the funding came from Idaho Parks and Recreation, Garden City, Ada County, J-U-B Engineering and Specialty Environmental. The construction bid was awarded to Knife River, and the Idaho Transportation Department managed the construction.

Greenbelt users headed to Eagle from Garden City don’t have to cross the West Bridge to get to Eagle. They can continue on the path on the south side of the river. The last one-mile stretch of that path is in the Laguna Pointe subdivision. Homeowners have been at odds with the city over that section of the public path, with the latest issue being the barbed wire fence installed along the Greenbelt near the lake.

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