Problem: Two Trains, One Bridge

Actually, up to 50 trains… a day!

Still… one bridge.

The beautiful northern Idaho town named Sandpoint could be called Railroadville since as many as 50 railroad trains pass through the town every day and some of them even linger there for a while. They linger longer depending on the length of the current train crossing the single track, ‘one direction’ bridge across Lake Pend Oreille.

That single bridge has become quite the bottleneck for the railroad companies that must keep their customers’ products moving. Time is money.

So it is just obvious that a second bridge is direly needed to keep things flowing in an orderly fashion to keep America most competitive. Therefore the railroads are prepared to build that second bridge and only need to get approval to do so. Here is the Idaho Department of Lands Media Advisory of March 21st:

Public hearing date set for BNSF Railway Co. permit application

(SANDPOINT) – The Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) set a date for the public hearings on the application received from BNSF Railway Co. to construct a second train bridge adjacent to and west of the existing train bridge across Lake Pend Oreille and Sand Creek.

Public hearing dates, times and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

  • First session: 8:00 AM Pacific – Ponderay Events Center, 401 Bonner Mall Way, Suite E, Ponderay ID
  • Second session: 6:00 PM Pacific – Sandpoint Middle School Gymnasium, 310 S. Division, Sandpoint ID

The IDL extended the public comment period to May 23. By law, IDL is required to accept public comments for 30 days, but the comment period will be open for close to 90 days to give the public, agencies, and neighboring landowners more time to evaluate the application and submit comments.

The IDL will accept all public comments on the application. Comments can be e-mailed to or submitted through the IDL website at this link:

The application, public comments received, and other information are available for viewing on the IDL website at this link:

The IDL administers the Idaho Lake Protection Act and regulates encroachments and activities on, in, or above the navigable lakes in the State of Idaho, including Lake Pend Oreille. BNSF Railway Co. must obtain a permit from IDL under the Idaho Lake Protection Act and corresponding administrative rules before project construction.

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Sharla Arledge, Public Information Officer 208-334-0286 or

US Army Corps of Engineers Public Notice

See the US Army Corps of Engineers detailed assessment of the proposed bridge in their Public Notice here.

Gem State Patriot News