Astoria bridge damage

The overhead support beams of the red bridge accessing Astoria Hot Springs and the Snake River Sporting Club were damaged by a truck Friday, and the bridge is closed until further notice. An alternative access road begins near Hoback Junction.

The red bridge accessing the new Astoria Hot Springs and Snake River Sporting Club is out of commission until further notice after a semi truck smashed into it.

The collision between the too-tall truck and overhead trusses occurred on Friday morning, according to an email the Snake River Sporting Club sent out to its members.

“Because this incident is so recent, we’re working through the logistics but we wanted to make you aware of the situation,” the email said. “We ask that you minimize the number of vehicles that you bring to the Club to reduce traffic on the alternate road.”

The alternative access, Hoback Junction South Road, is a residential route that begins between the roundabout structure and Snake River bridge at the junction. The road ordinarily dead-ends after a couple miles, but it does connect to a closed Bridger-Teton National Forest Road that terminates near Astoria Hot Springs. That road, narrow and dirt, is being temporarily reopened to allow access.

Photos emailed to the Jackson Hole Daily — and attached to the online version of this story at JHNewsAndGuide.com — show that the offending vehicle was a white tractor logoed with Emanuel Trucking of Sandy, Utah, and an orange trailer with a Hapag-Lloyd emblem on the side. The red beams at the entrance of the bridge have clearly been compromised, photos show.

It’s unclear how long the bridge will be unusable. The Sporting Club’s email says it’s closed “pending further evaluation.”

The Friday collision wasn’t the first time that a truck driver misjudged the height limit of a non-highway bridge across the Snake River in southern Teton County. In 2015, an out-of-gas landscaping truck carrying a tree spade rammed into the support structures on Swinging Bridge. The bridge stayed closed for four months.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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