The long awaited opening of the new Ashton Tetonia trail in eastern Idaho has hit one last snag on its way to becoming a snowmobiling paradise.
"The project is completed but it wasn't built to our specs, per se," Michael Robinson, Idaho Department of Parks And Recreation (IDPR) East Region Trails Specialist, said.
It seems the Bitch Creek trestle was built to be about 11.5 feet wide, just inches shy of the 12 foot specs that Idaho Parks and Recreation Department requested.
So, what's a snowmobiler to do? "It's officially, unofficially open for snowmobilers," said Robinson.
Snowmobilers can access the system and he said the trail is being groomed from both the Fremont County and Madison County sides of access of the Bitch Creek trestle. The downside is that the trestle itself won't be groomed, but most snowmobilers should still be able to cross it, they'll just need to exercise an abundance of caution, depending on the depth of the snow.
"It's a new thing for us right now," he said. "Depending on what the snow does this year; we're kind of waiting and seeing what happens." But he also said snowmobile passage is 100 percent ready and 10 times safer than it used to be.
As far as the work on the trestle goes, IDPR is trying to solve the problem internally and hopes the engineer in charge of the project will be able to address the issue without any further costs to the department. Repair work continues and some of the railing that is in place may have to be redone. There are no definitive numbers in regards to cost at this point.
Work to the Bitch Creek trestle is slated to continue into the spring and an official, grand opening for the trail system is also in the works for the spring.