High Bridge, Thompson Falls
The High Bridge is a 588′ Parker/Pratt Deck-Truss design built in 1911. It is the longest bridge of O.E. Peppard’s remaining spans in Montana, as recorded in the Historical American Engineering record.
The deck is built atop the trusses making it unique. It has eight spans, a wood deck and stringer spans. The trusses are steel, pin-connected, and supported on concrete piers. The bridge was erected so the hydroelectric dam, completed in 1917, could be constructed.
The dam provided power for western Montana, northeastern Idaho, and as far west as the mines and smelters in Coeur d’Alene Idaho.
The bridge was used as a direct transportation link between the Prospect Creek/Cherry Creek areas and Thompson Falls until the early 1970’s and as a foot/bike bridge until 1979, when it was closed due to safety concerns and deterioration.
In 1986 it was included in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Hydro-Electric Dam Historic District.
In 2010 this Historic structure received a new lease on life again as a foot/bike bridge. With new decking, railings and reinforced steel supports it will now provide another 100 years of service to residents and visitors alike.