The Idaho Transportation Board took action this week to accelerate the improvement of several major roadways in order to modernize aging infrastructure, improve safety, and reduce congestion.
To address the state’s rapid growth, the Idaho legislature passed a transportation revenue package last May signed by Gov. Brad Little as part of his “Leading Idaho” initiative. The funding is already being used for the planning and design of several projects. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will accelerate bond-funded construction projects this spring.
According to a news release from ITD, Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad is pleased with how fast ITD has designed and advanced projects for construction—less than a year after the funding was approved.
The modernization projects approved by the board include the I-86/I-15 System Interchange in Pocatello/Chubbuck; I-90 and SH-41 Interchange in Post Falls; SH-16 from I-84 to Chinden Boulevard; and U.S. 20/26 from I-84 to Middleton Road in the Treasure Valley.
The I-86/I-15 System Interchange project will receive $115.5 million to make road, ramp, and bridge upgrades at the junction of the two interstates, along with building a new separated pedestrian/bicycle path. This project will replace aging bridges within this interchange and modernize the roadway to improve safety and traffic flow.
The I-90 and SH-41 Interchange project will receive $82.5 million to upgrade to a new design that will be safer and will reduce congestion. The I-90 westbound off-ramp will no longer curve, and the ramps will come together and be controlled by one signal at a single-point urban interchange.
The SH-16 from I-84 to U.S. 20/26 project will receive $129 million to turn the new SH-16 corridor into two lanes in each direction. The goal is to improve mobility and address growth concerns by providing a much needed north/south freeway in the heart of the Treasure Valley.
Finally, the U.S. 20/26 from I-84 to Middleton Road project will receive $41 million to widen Chinden Boulevard to four lanes between I-84 and Middleton Road starting this summer, and design is underway to widen the remainder between Middleton Road and Star Road to four lanes.
SOURCE: Idaho Transportation Department