Perrine Bridge

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Perrine Bridge
U.S. Highway 93 bridge from within Snake River Canyon.jpeg
Perrine Bridge in July 2004
Official name I.B. Perrine Bridge
Carries 4 lanes of US-93
Crosses Snake River
Locale Twin Falls, Idaho,
United States
Total length 1,500 feet (457 m)
Width 64.6 feet (19.7 m)
Longest span 303 m[1]
Clearance below 486 feet (148 m)
Opened 1976
1927 - original
Coordinates 42°36′01″N 114°27′14″W / 42.6004°N 114.4538°W / 42.6004; -114.4538Coordinates: 42°36′01″N 114°27′14″W / 42.6004°N 114.4538°W / 42.6004; -114.4538

The I. B. Perrine Bridge at Twin Falls, Idaho, United States, is a truss arch four-lane bridge carrying U.S. Highway 93 over the Snake River Canyon. Perrine Bridge is approximately 1,500 feet (457 m) long and 486 feet (148 m) above the Snake River. The elevation of the road deck is approximately 3,600 feet (1,097 m) above sea level. The bridge serves as the Twin Falls area's main link to Jerome County and Interstate 84.

Originally named the Twin Falls-Jerome Intercounty Bridge, a steel cantilever bridge was opened to traffic in September 1927, and at the time, was the highest bridge in the world. The privately financed $650,000 structure was originally a toll bridge, but the tolls were eliminated in 1940 after the bridge was purchased by the state of Idaho.

By the early 1970s, the original bridge was outdated and unable to handle heavy loads and required replacement. Construction on the current bridge began in May 1973 [2] and was completed in July 1976 at a cost of $9,700,000, and the original cantilever bridge to the west was disassembled.

The bridge is named for I. B. Perrine, who spearheaded the early 20th century irrigation projects in the Magic Valley region and is largely credited as the main founder of Twin Falls.

Tourism[edit]

A BASE jumper leaps off the Perrine Bridge

The 1st documented and VHS/photographed jumps from the Bridge were in 1987 by 3 residents of Twin Falls (former US Army Paratroopers) who static line jumped the bridge using Military Surplus MC1-1B. It was done after a test drop of a 55 gal. Drum in a T-10 parachute harness and canopy was used. Multiple successful jumps were conducted without incident or injury.

Adjacent to the south end of the bridge is a parking area with a visitors' center, which allows for easy access to the bridge. To the east, along the south rim of the canyon, lies the dirt ramp used by Evel Knievel when he unsuccessfully attempted to jump the canyon on his steam-powered "skycycle" in 1974. Knievel crashed on the jump because of a parachute malfunction; it opened right after his take off. He survived the crash with only a broken nose. The ramp where he made the leap sits on private property about two miles east of the bridge and is visible from the bridge as well as various vantage points along the Canyon Trail.[3]

The Perrine Bridge is a popular BASE jumping site known all over the world. It may be the only man-made structure in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed year-round without a permit.[4] In September 2005 Miles Daisher of Twin Falls set a BASE jumping world record by jumping off Perrine Bridge 57 times in a 24-hour period.[5] In July 2006 Dan Schilling jumped off the bridge 201 times in 21 hours to raise money for charity.[6] Unlike Daisher, Schilling was hoisted to the top of the bridge by a crane after every jump.

Located at the southwest end of the Perrine Bridge is the Buzz Langdon Visitor Center. BASE Jumpers often use the center as a home-base before and after parachuting from the bridge. The visitors center offers spectacular views of the canyon, bridge, and easy access to the extensively developed trail system along the canyon rim.[7] Trails go under the bridge on either side which offers great vantage points of the bridge and its structure.

Perrine Bridge from the southwest in June 2007

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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