Photo of the Kinsey Bridge, near Kinsey Montana

Weekly Gem #274, One at a time, if you please

Published 7/2/22

Location: This ‘hidden gem’ is located near the intersection of West Bannock and North 11th St. in Boise, ID (see the Clue Me! Map). 

The Kinsey Bridge was built in 1907, so trains of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railway could get to Miles City. Decades later, the railroad was no longer needed, but the bridge was structurally sound, and ready to be repurposed.

There are a few minimum requirements in converting a railroad bridge for use by automotive traffic. First and foremost, the roadbed consists of railroad ties, spaced a foot or so apart. A drive where your teeth are clacking 1100 times per round trip is a non-starter, so the bridge was retrofit with perforated steel sheets, creating two paths for the tires. Over time, these sheets cracked, broke, and wound up with ‘potholes,’ each of which was repaired by welding on another steel sheet. At any given time, there are unrepaired potholes, as well as parts of the steel plates that are loose for one reason or another.

In short, the Kinsey Bridge is a pleasingly memorable river crossing, and worth checking out if you’re in the vicinity. But one at a time, if you please.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


Ear plugs highly recommended


The Kinsey Bridge

Why It's Interesting

This one lane bridge doesn't allow room to dodge potholes, and when those are made of loose steel plates, the clanging is extremely loud! Ear plugs, for sure.

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