|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
The Dent Bridge is a suspension bridge located near Orofino, Idaho, United States. It is located 17 miles (27 km) up the North Fork of the former Clearwater River, now the Dworshak Reservoir. Completed in 1971 at a cost of $7,848,950, the bridge has a main span of 1,050 feet (320 m), and an overall length of 1,550 feet (470 m).
Built in conjunction with the Dworshak Dam by the Army Corps of Engineers during the early 1970s, this bridge provides local access over the flooded river, now Dworshak Reservoir. Without the bridge, vehicle access from Ahsahka to the small community of Elk River would be blocked off. The US Army Corps of Engineers carefully weighed the possibilities for getting traffic to Elk River from the Orofino side of the Clearwater River. Building a new road all the way around the 53-mile (85 km) long reservoir would not only be expensive, cutting into miles and miles of extremely rocky terrain, but would also be a painful inconvenience for travelers. The only reasonable answer was a bridge somewhere in the middle of the future reservoir. The exact location was based on the topography most suitable for road access as well as for the bridge construction itself.
The bridge takes its name from Charles and Katherine Dent, who in 1895 owned land on the western side of where the bridge now stands.