Idaho's history is fascinating. So many modern marvels were here first: The television and the ski lift, to name two. The longest wooden bridge in the world was also in Idaho until it was rebuilt out of steel and concrete in 1956.
Believe it or not, this bridge that connects Sagle to Sandpoint is known as The Long Bridge. Not because it was named after someone named Long, but because the bridge is long! A $20,000 project in 1910, this bridge runs nearly two miles. While the wood construction was an engineering marvel at the time, the bridge had serious issues 20 years later, so in 1934, it was replaced with a new Long Bridge, also made of wood.
A little more than 20 years later, the Long Bridge again needed an overhaul. The third version of the bridge was built in 1956 with steel and concrete, losing its title as the longest wooden bridge in the world. This type of construction, however, allowed the bridge a much longer life. This bridge still stands today but is only used for pedestrians. A fourth version was built in 1981, next to the old (third) one. This new one still handles traffic today, although a new bridge was completed this year to accommodate railroad traffic.
The next time you drive to Sandpoint, take a look of appreciation for what was once a significant engineering feat: a bridge that, at 9,300 feet, is more than ten times longer than the 883-foot Titanic, nearly six times longer than the 1,595-foot Brooklyn Bridge, more than four times longer than the 2,297 foor Bay Bridge in San Francisco, and more than twice as long as the 4,200 foot Golden Gate Bridge.