Idaho Transportation Board advances Northgate Interchange project

Northgate Interchange Plan

BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Board voted unanimously during their regular meeting Wednesday (Feb. 21) to provide additional funding to begin construction on the Northgate Interchange in east Idaho.

“This project is a great funding model for public/private partnerships moving forward. It serves as an example of what can be done when state, local and private stakeholders work together to leverage each other’s funds,” Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead said. “This project will reduce congestion, improve mobility and create greater opportunity for economic development in Bannock County.”

The interchange is being funded through a public/private partnership between ITD, the cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello, Bannock County, Bannock Transportation Planning Organization, the Pocatello Development Authority, and Millennial Development.

The board authorized ITD to enter into an agreement that funds an additional $4.6 million in construction costs, bringing the total cost of the interchange to $12.5 million. Funding was made available by delaying a locally sponsored project of $2.6 million and another $2 million ITD project in the area.

Once complete, the project will provide new connections on both sides of Interstate 15 for residents in Pocatello and Chubbuck. ITD will build the interchange. Local agencies and private developers will build several miles of connecting roads and acquire right-of-way. The total cost for the project is $31 million. ITD’s share is around $8 million.

“Even with these additional costs, if you look at the total project, including the new access roads and the interchange, the state is only paying a quarter on the dollar,” said Whitehead.

The interchange was originally estimated to cost $8.4 million dollars. After a value engineering study, the design was changed to meet anticipated traffic demands in the area. The new design includes longer ramps, a wider bridge deck, and traffic signals.

Work is expected to begin on the local roads this spring and on the interchange this summer.

Replacement of Kingston Bridge east of CDA begins Feb. 26

Work will begin Monday, Feb. 26 to replace the bridge over Interstate 90 near Kingston, 30 miles east of Coeur d’Alene. This is one of several projects throughout the north Idaho region aimed at extending the service lives of aging local bridges, benefitting the safety and mobility of drivers.

Construction to replace the old Kingston bridge—built in 1967—will be completed by December.

To replace the bridge, the existing structure will be demolished and rebuilt in two phases — the first phase will begin in mid-March, and the second-phase will begin in mid-June. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction and detoured onto the on and off ramps during the scheduled nighttime demolitions. Closures for demolitions will be limited to a total of 10 nights.

ITD anticipates intermittent lane closures during the day throughout construction. Travelers are required to reduce speeds but should not expect delays.

Concrete Placing Company is the primary contractor on this $7.6 million project.

Other bridgework and replacement projects scheduled for construction this season include:

  • Replacing the Oldtown Bridge along ID-41.
  • Replacing the St. Maries Railroad Bridge and the St. Joe River Bridge along ID-3 in St. Maries.
  • Improving support structures for the Blue Creek Bay Bridge along I-90 near Wolf Lodge.
  • Improving support structures for the Coeur d’Alene River Bridge along ID-97 near Harrison.
  • Replacing the culvert over Round Prairie Creek along US-95 near Eastport.
  • Replacing the culvert over Cedar Creek along ID-3 near Clarkia.
  • Replacing the culvert over Texas Creek along ID-11 near Weippe.

Bridge projects in the district total approximately $45.3 million this year.

For construction updates on this project and other scheduled improvements, check 511.idaho.gov.

ITD experiments with solar-powered pavement markings in Pocatello

The unusual amount of sunshine this winter has allowed the Idaho Transportation Department to experiment with a few alternatives to typical highway work. The most recent options are solar-powered pavement markings along short stretches of US-30/Garret Way in Pocatello, intended to increase the visibility of raised curb islands for drivers.

WATCH video

The first set of markers were installed along US-30 from Gould Street (milepost 335.4) to Pole Line Road (milepost 334.8) on Feb. 8. The next section to be outfitted with the special markers will be Pole Line to Cedar Street (milepost 334.3). ITD purchased 600 units and earmarked 100 for each of the six regional offices. The southeast Idaho office was the first to have them installed.

“This location was decided upon as a safety improvement due to lack of streetlights in this area and to help denote where there is curbing. The markers are lit and reflective, making them a good channelizing device in the dark,” ITD southeast Idaho Operations Manager Steve Gertonson explained. The markers store up solar energy during daylight hours, then use that to power LED lights in the markers at night.

ITD southeast Idaho Maintenance Foreman David Petersdorf said he’s already received numerous calls from the public saying they like the new markers.

Public meeting on Feb. 22 for US-95 bridgework near Potlatch

Deep Creek Bridge

An open house will be held Feb. 22 to share information on plans to improve safety on US-95 by replacing two aging bridges and by adding turn lanes at two intersections near Potlatch.

The public meeting will be held at the Scenic 6 Depot at 126 Sixth Street in Potlatch from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in an open house format. Members of the public are invited to arrive at any time to learn about the design and the project schedule. Project staff will be available to discuss the planned improvements, which are scheduled to be constructed in 2020 for an estimated $6.6 million.

Planned improvements include:

– Replacing the Deep Creek and Washington-Idaho Railroad (WIR) bridges

– Adding turn lanes at the junctions of the highway with ID-6 and with Kennedy Ford Road

The new bridge over the Washington-Idaho Railroad will be elevated to meet current height guidelines, and the supports underneath the bridge will be spaced wider to accommodate a future addition of another track. Improvements to the junction of ID-6 and US-95 near the WIR Bridge will likely prevent several crashes, as there have been 19 crashes near the intersection between 2011 and 2015.

The addition of turn lanes at the junction of US-95 and Kennedy Ford Road near the Deep Creek Bridge will also likely prevent crashes, of which there were 18 near the intersection between 2011 and 2015.

For those who have questions or comments but are unable to attend the public meeting, please email the project manager Kerby Kirkham at kerby.kirkham@itd.idaho.gov or mail comments to: US-95 Potlatch Bridges Improvement Project, Attn: Kerby Kirkham, ITD District 2, 2600 Frontage Road, Lewiston ID, 83501. Comments are due by March 9, 2018, to be considered as part of the official project record.

For more information, visit itd.idaho.gov/D2, choose “Projects” and then select US-95: Potlatch Bridges Improvement Project.

Public can view 3-D animation, design of interchange Feb. 22 in Jerome

ITD is hosting a public hearing Feb. 22 to present the preliminary design for the reconstruction of the I-84 South Jerome Interchange, slated for 2020. The hearing will feature three-dimensional animation to provide the public a birds-eye and driver’s perspective of the unique divided diamond design.

The public is invited to attend anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Idaho State Police Region Four office, 218 Yakima Avenue in Jerome.

Project staff will be on-hand to answer questions and a hearing officer will be available to take oral or written testimony. Spanish translation services will also be provided.

The 52-year-old interchange has been identified by ITD for replacement and redesign. Public input received through key stakeholder meetings and public comments have confirmed public support for the selected divided diamond interchange design.

The new interchange will:

• Improve traffic operations and safety.
• Minimize impact to properties and the natural environment.
• Provide smooth traffic flow.
• Safely accommodate pedestrian and bicycle travel.
• Reduce travel time.
• Efficiently move goods and services.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact ITD Project Manager, Nathan Jerke at 208-886-7809 or nathan.jerke@itd.idaho.gov. Additional information is available at www.southjeromeinterchange.com.

To be considered in the official comment period, comments must be received by March 8.

Eagle Road to open for Thursday morning commute

Eagle Road Pipe Burst

UPDATE at 5 p.m., Wednesday Feb 7

The Idaho Transportation Department plans to completely open a section of Eagle Road (Idaho Highway 55) near the Village at Meridian in time for Thursday’s morning commute.

Emergency repairs to a broken water main forced the busy road to be closed late Monday night. Meridian Public Works, the Meridian Police Department, Ada County Highway District, and ITD partnered together to fix the pipe, patch the road, and safely divert traffic.

Final paving and striping is expected to wrap up around 10:00 p.m. tonight. When the work is done, the road will immediately open to traffic.

ITD was able to open limited access on the affected area Tuesday night into Wednesday to alleviate congestion during the a.m. commute. The section was closed again at 9 a.m. Wednesday to make final repairs during the day.

This section of Eagle Road sees 49,000 trips on average. Combined with the nearby traffic on Fairview Ave., this intersection is the busiest in Idaho with an average 76,000 daily trips.

UPDATE at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7

Crews have closed Eagle Road to make final repairs.

Laying Pavement on Eagle
Crews lay pavement to patch Eagle Road

They are currently laying pavement to patch nearly 70 feet of road length on five lanes and two approaches into nearby businesses.

Work is expected to be completed tonight, in time for the road to open for Thursday morning’s commute.

The asphalt is spread in several layers to promote uniform curing. When paving is done, the patch will have lines painted on it. The road will open to the public when the asphalt and paint has cured and is cool to the touch.

 

UPDATE at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7

The section of Eagle Road south of Fairview Avenue, closed Monday after a water pipe break, is reopened temporarily until 9 a.m. this morning. The temporary access will be closed this morning at 9 to allow crews to repave the roadway.

The Idaho Transportation Department has reopened the route to limited access. This involved laying gravel down and building ramps on the edges of the pavement that have been removed.

This requires a speed limit reduction to 25 mph. The public is still advised to avoid the area.

Depending on weather and the cure rate of the fresh asphalt, ITD estimates Eagle Road will be fully open by Wednesday evening.

 

UPDATE at 5 p.m., Tuesday Feb. 6

BOISE – A section of Eagle Road south of Fairview Avenue remains closed as crews make repairs following a burst water pipe.

Exploratory digging
Crews remove asphalt to check for erosion under road bed.

A half-mile section of Eagle Road between Pine and Fairview avenues was closed late Monday night after a broken water main flooded the roadway. The Idaho Transportation Department is working to open limited access on the stretch this evening. This effort involves laying gravel down and building ramps on the edges of the pavement that have been removed.

A limited access will require a speed limit reduction to 25 mph. Should access be opened, the public is still advised to avoid the area. Any access opened Tuesday will be closed by Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. to allow crews to repave the roadway. Depending on weather and the cure rate of the fresh asphalt, ITD estimates Eagle Road will be fully open Wednesday evening.

Work today has involved emergency repairs by Meridian Public Works to the water line and excavation by ITD of the road around the flooded area to fix erosion of the road bed.

ITD will post after-hours updates on 511 and its Twitter account, @IdahoITD

Original Story

Burst water line
A crack in the a water pipe closed Eagle Rd. Tuesday.

Eagle Road will remain closed during repairs. Currently, it is estimated the road will re-open Wednesday afternoon. Access to area business remains open. Detours are in place at Fairview Avenue, Pine Avenue, and Franklin Road.

Crews have dug a trench ten feet wide, 40 feet long, and eight feet deep to access the broken pipe. Once the pipe is repaired, ITD crews will repair the road. That includes backfilling the trench, removing broken asphalt around it, and repaving the section.

Meridian Public Works and Meridian Police Department are on scene assisting.

Major improvements coming to US-12 in north-central Idaho this construction season

LEWISTON—During the upcoming construction season, US-12 in north-central Idaho will undergo a $17 million transformation to revitalize aging infrastructure and improve safety throughout the corridor.

More than 50 miles of the highway between Lowell and the Idaho-Montana border will be repaved, and two bridges—over Maggie and Fish creeks—will be replaced.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to improve the corridor,” said Joe Schacher, the ITD manager for the improvements. “Some sections of the highway have deteriorated significantly due to heavy use and harsh weather conditions, and the bridges haven’t received major repairs since they were built in the early 1950s.”

Knife River Corporation will resurface 27 miles between Tumble Creek and Saddle Camp Road and another 23 miles between Warm Springs Pack Bridge and the Montana border. Repaving the highway will cost $13.3 million, Schacher said.

Concrete Placing Company will replace Fish Creek Bridge, and Braun-Jensen Inc. will replace Maggie Creek Bridge for a combined cost of $3.6 million, Schacher said.

Schacher said construction throughout the corridor could begin as early as April and conclude as late as October. Work will be suspended during travel-heavy holidays such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day to minimize impacts to the traveling public. ITD has also coordinated with the USDA Forest Service to reduce effects to participants in Lochsa Madness and other events.

“US-12 is a critical access route for visitors planning a trip to the forest and the many recreation sites the Forest Service has in the Lochsa corridor,” says Jennifer Becar, public affairs specialist for the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. “We appreciate the work ITD will be doing to improve access along this route and will be working closely with them to make sure our visitors are aware of upcoming travel impacts.”

Drivers can expect significant delays while traveling through the corridor. Given the number of projects in the area and the limited passing opportunities on the predominately two-lane highway, Schacher said travelers could experience delays upwards of two hours.

“Although it may not be ideal to oversee four different projects in one season, we were able to take advantage of the available funding,” said Doral Hoff, the engineering manager for ITD’s District 2. “The public can be assured that after this construction-intense summer, they won’t see ITD working on the highway for a while.”

A few years after these improvements, contractors will add seal coats to approximately 60 miles of the highway to protect the new road surface and extend the life of the fresh pavement, but other than that, Hoff said he does not anticipate construction for another two to three years.

As construction nears, the public can find information about specific construction dates through the project website at itd.idaho.gov/us12 and by visiting 511.idaho.gov. Travelers can also find construction information through the Montana Department of Transportation’s traveler information webpage at www.mdt511.com.

ITD Public Transportation seeking comment through end of February on rural transit grant applications

Through Feb. 28, 2018, the Idaho Transportation Department’s Public Transportation office is inviting public participation and encouraging public comment on rural public transportation grant applications.

These awards, for the 2018-2020 grants cycle, will fund operating, capital, and administration projects to enhance public transportation systems in Idaho, and promote safety, mobility, and economic opportunity.Proposed projects will be funded through three Federal Transit Administration (FTA) programs, and one ITD grant program for public transportation.

– FTA’s section 5310 program provides funding for the purpose of meeting transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities. 5310 funds can be used to enhance mobility options designed to serve seniors and disabled persons through operational support or capital investment.

– FTA’s 5311 rural program provides capital, planning, and operating assistance to support public transportation in rural areas with populations of less than 50,000 people.

– FTA’s 5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program provide funding to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase new buses, equipment, and technology. FTA’s 5339 program also can be used to fund construction of bus facilities, purchase technology, or modify low or no emission vehicles or facilities.

Idaho Transportation Department’s Vehicle Investment Program provides capital funding for demand response providers to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase vehicles to support the continuation and expansion of public transportation services.

In summary, the project proposal applications for this cycle fall under the following federal and state funded grant programs:

– FTA’s 5310 Rural Transportation Program for Elderly and Persons with Disabilities
– FTA’s 5311 Rural Formula Program
– FTA’s 5339 Rural Bus and Bus Facilities Program
– ITD’s Vehicle Investment Program (VIP)

Copies of the applications and technical review recommendations may be viewed at http://itd.idaho.gov/pt under the Application Program Tab.

The public comment period is open Jan. 30Feb. 28, 2018 at midnight. Public comments may be directed to Kim McGourty at kim.mcgourty@itd.idaho.gov.

For more information, call ITD Public Transportation at (208) 344-4475.

Public hearing for US-95 improvements held Jan. 31 in Coeur d’Alene

US-95 N Corridor

A public hearing will be held Wednesday (Jan. 31) to share information on proposed improvements to the section of US-95 between Interstate 90 and Idaho Highway 53 in Kootenai County. The hearing will be at the Idaho Transportation Department District 1 Office at 600 W. Prairie Avenue in Coeur d’Alene.

Proposed improvements include:

– Optimizing traffic signal spacing by removing two signals and adding two signals

– Modifying traffic signal timing

– Extending Wilbur between US-95 and Government Way

– Modifying vehicle-median crossings at non-signalized locations

– Adding new turn lanes

– Reconstructing the bike path along the highway

Proposed improvements are funded in part by a $5.1 million FASTLANE grant awarded to ITD and the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization in October 2016. FASTLANE grants recognize the nation’s top goods-movement projects.

The hearing will be in an open-house format, and those interested are invited to arrive any time between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Displays will illustrate proposed improvements, and project staff will be available to answer questions. Hearing officers will be available to record verbal testimony.

Additionally, comments may be mailed and will become part of the project record if postmarked by Feb. 15. Address them to: Carrie Ann Hewitt, 600 W. Prairie Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID  83815. Comments also can be emailed to: carrieann.hewitt@itd.idaho.gov.

For more information on the project or to comment online, visit http://itd.idaho.gov/d1/, choose “Projects” and then choose US-95: N Corridor Access Improvements or visit the project website. Comments will be accepted Jan. 31 – Feb. 15, 2018.

Transportation Board Approves Northgate Engineering Funding

Northgate Interchange Plan

BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Board agreed to fund the remainder of the cost to finish to design the Northgate (Siphon Road) Interchange in southeast Idaho. The board unanimously passed a resolution to fund the engineering and design costs of approximately $1.5 million for the project.

The project would connect parts of north Pocatello and Chubbuck to Interstate 15 near Siphon Road. ITD is currently working with the cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello, Bannock County, the Pocatello Development Authority and Millennial Development to fund construction of this interchange.

By authorizing the completion of the engineering and design, the project would be ready for construction when a resolution for funding the project along with the right of way acquisition are complete.

“This interchange presents a unique opportunity to work closely with the private sector and other local agencies,” said Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead in a previous news release. “We understand why local residents are excited about this project. We think it will increase mobility and bring greater economic opportunity for the community.”

Last June, the Board passed a resolution authorizing the construction of an $8.4 million interchange at the location. After an engineering study, it was determined it would cost a total of $12.5 million to build an interchange sufficient to meet existing and future needs in the area. ITD is working with local agencies to determine the best way to fund the project increase.