The 1950 Lolo Creek Bridge in Idaho County didn’t seem very important when first proposed for replacement in 2002. However, through the Section 106 process and the implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Idaho Transportation Department and the State Historic Preservation Office identified the small steel structure as the only known example of a King Post pony truss bridge in the State of Idaho. Through a series of negotiations, Gem County agreed to acquire the structure, and with the help of the City of Emmett, rehabilitate it for recreational use.
Unfortunately, oversight of the company contracted to dismantle the bridge and transport it to Emmett was not as strenuous as it should have been. The bridge arrived at Emmett in a hundred pieces – indiscriminately chopped into a puzzle with a cutting torch. Though none could have blamed them for abandoning the project altogether, Gem County systematically pieced the bridge back together, painted it, and installed it at its intended destination.
For their exceptional persistence, Gem County and the City of Emmett warrant the designation afforded by a 2010 Orchid Award in the category of Cultural Heritage Preservation.