Intersection improvements ramp up on Idaho 55 in Canyon County; motorist urged to plan ahead and consider alternate route

The Idaho Transportation Department is advising motorists to prepare for construction-related delays at the Lake Avenue and Midway Road intersections on Idaho 55 over the next several weeks. Crews will install mobile signals at both intersections the week of Oct. 23 and prepare to close areas for widening.

What’s Next:

ITD is repaving Idaho 55 between Pride Lane in Caldwell and Middleton Road in Nampa and improving the intersections at Farmway Road, Lake Avenue and Midway Road. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed in late 2017.

While the mobile signals are in place, left-turning traffic at both intersections will use the through lane. The temporary configuration will give crews more room to widen the intersections.
To give crews room to excavate and pave new turn lanes, ITD will schedule multiple road closures at the two intersections this fall. Each intersection includes two work areas – one north and one south of Idaho 55. Closures will rotate, leaving only one area closed at any time. The four work areas include:
• North Midway Road from Homedale Road to Karcher Road.
• South Midway Road from Orchard Avenue to Karcher Road.
• North Lake Avenue from Homedale Road to Karcher Road.
• South Lake Avenue from Karcher Road to Orchard Avenue.

Each closure will remain in place 24/7 for approximately three days. Residents will have access to their homes during the closures. All other local traffic will be detoured. Click here for a map of the detour routes.

“We are urging motorists to plan ahead, slow down and find an alternate route if possible over the next few weeks,” said ITD Construction Coordinator Merrill Sharp. To sign up for email construction updates, text IDAHO55 to 22828, email jennifer.gonzalez@itd.idaho.gov or call (208) 334-8938. More information is available at itd.idaho.gov/d3.

St. Maries Detour Paving to Start Next Week

St. Maries 10th Street Detour

Crews may start paving the detour route as early as Tuesday, Oct. 24, during daylight hours. This work will take place on Riverside Avenue, Railroad Avenue, 10th Street and 1st Street, and is in preparation for the closure of the railroad bridge.

10th Street between Idaho and Main Avenues will be closed to through traffic on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and the other roadways will be reduced to one lane intermittently as paving takes place for up to four days.

Business access will be maintained, and access through each area will be controlled by flaggers. Please expect minor dust, noise, vibrations and parking restrictions as this work is completed. Visit the project page or call 208-292-8515 for more project information.

Another sign of winter – studded tires legal Oct. 1 in Idaho

Studded tires are legal in Idaho from Oct. 1 to April 30

Snowstorms may not be part of the immediate weather forecast in the lower elevations and valleys of Idaho, but they’ve already made an appearance in the higher elevations and mountain passes. Accordingly, Oct. 1 marks the date for legal use of studded tires in Idaho. Idaho’s studded snow tire season continues through April 30.

While it may be legal to use the tires, officials advise against it unless conditions warrant. Studded tires are snow tires with small metal cleats embedded in the tread, and may cause undue wear on bare roadways.

Studded tire laws vary in neighboring states:

  • Montana: Oct. 1 – May 31
  • Nevada: Oct. 1 – April 30
  • Utah: Oct. 15 – April 15
  • Oregon: Nov. 1 – March 31
  • Washington: Nov. 1 – March 31
  • Wyoming: Legal all year

For weekly updates on highway construction projects in Idaho, call the Idaho Road Report at 511 or 1-888-IDA-ROAD (432-7623). For online updates, visit the transportation department’s road report at 511.idaho.gov.

Daily reports on winter road conditions are provided from November through April.

The transportation department is helping drivers stay safe with the annual Winter Safety Campaign. Check the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages. You also can visit our Road Maintenance page and click on the “Winter Driving” tab for helpful videos and other information.

Construction near New Plymouth will provide safety improvements at ID-72/US-30 intersection

The Idaho Transportation Department will enhance safety at the intersection of Idaho Highway 72 and US-30 during late September and October.

Crews will reconfigure the intersection to a more common, “t-type” intersection. This will eliminate the free-running movement on ID-72.

During construction, US-30 will be reduced to one lane with temporary traffic signals in place to control traffic.  Delays of up to 15 minutes are possible.  During the same timeframe, ID-72 will be closed to thru traffic.

ID-72 traffic will be detoured one mile south to SE 2nd Avenue. Truck traffic will be detoured to US-30, Interstate 84, and Sand Hollow Road. Detours will be clearly posted and also available at 511.idaho.gov.

Crews will work daytime hours Monday through Saturday. The project will be complete in late October.

Langley Gulch Culvert Replacement

During the same timeframe, ITD will replace an aging culvert near Langley Gulch on ID-72 near the intersection work and within the existing work zone.

For more information on this project, as well as a full construction list for southwest Idaho, please visit itd.Idaho.gov/D3.

$17.3M available through Oct. 31 from ITD’s Public Transportation office for rural service

Nearly $17.3 million in funding is available through Oct. 31 from the Idaho Transportation Department’’s Public Transportation (ITD-PT) office for rural transit service providers in Idaho.

Applications can be found on the ITD-PT website under the “Application Program” drop down tab labeled  “Congressional Appropriation Applications,” along with additional application details. Funds are made available through four funding sources: Federal Transit Administration (FTA) 5310 Rural Elderly and Disabled Grant Program, FTA 5311 Rural Formula Grant Program, FTA 5339 Bus and Bus facilities Grant Program, and the Vehicle Investment Program.

Every two years, ITD makes funding available for operating, capital, planning, and marketing projects to support transportation needs. Local government authorities, public agencies or private non-profit organizations, and operators of public transportation may apply.

For more information, please contact ITD Public Transportation grants officer Kim McGourty, at kim.mcgourty@itd.idaho.gov or 208-334-4475.

Idaho weigh-in-motion systems saved trucking industry 33,000 hours and $3.5 million in last year

Weigh-in-motion (WIM) systems like the one installed in February at the Inkom Port of Entry (POE) in southeast Idaho save the trucking industry huge chunks of time and money.

Trucks bypassing the port save an average of five minutes of time per incident, and almost a half a gallon of fuel. This amounts to a savings of about $8.68 per bypass. Commercial trucks using WIM to bypass Idaho ports saved 33,365 hours and more than 16,000 gallons of fuel in the last year.

There are four Idaho locations with WIM. From July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, the impact was:

Huetter POE (Northern Idaho): 58,356 vehicle bypasses; savings = $506,530
Lewiston POE (North-Central Idaho): 89,049 vehicle bypasses; savings = $772,945
East Boise POE (Southwest Idaho): 247,378 vehicle bypasses; savings = $2,147,241
Inkom POE (Southeast Idaho): 5,600 vehicle bypasses (June only); savings = $48,608
TOTAL # of BYPASSES = 400,383; SAVINGS = $3.475 million

“These projects are an outstanding example of how the department is meeting its mission to improve safety, mobility and economic opportunity for Idaho and the nation,” Reymundo Rodriguez, DMV Compliance Manager, said.

The system allows commercial trucks that meet state size and weight limits to bypass weigh stations at highway speeds. An estimated 50 to 60 percent of commercial truck traffic will be able to bypass the ports.

Vehicles bypassing Ports of Entry facilities save drivers and companies valuable time on the road, reducing fuel and operating costs while increasing productivity. Vehicles that bypass also benefit the state and everyone who uses the highways by reducing congestion around weigh stations and enabling inspectors at the port to focus their efforts on carriers that demand the most attention.

Safety is a top concern for ITD – here are a few examples:

Idaho is home to a lot of rural roadways that present some unique safety challenges. Here are a few recent initiatives from ITD to improve public safety on those routes:

SPOTLIGHTING DANGEROUS CURVES
If you ever played a driving video game, then you’ve seen the big flashing arrows that warn you when a curve is coming up and which way to turn. You’re not very likely to run into the wall, but follow directional arrows around the curve and go for the finish line.

Big electronic flashing arrows might be effective in a fast-paced game, but would not be very efficient on some of Idaho’s rural highways.

Here’s the rest of the story

RURAL INTERSECTION CONFLICT WARNING SYSTEM
Rural highway intersections can be hazardous if drivers are not aware of upcoming stops and free-flowing traffic crossing their paths. Here’s a lower-cost system to help save lives.

Here’s the rest of the story

 

Public can vote for Idaho’s Thornton Interchange project for national honor and $10k charity prize

The Idaho Transportation Department project to rebuild the Thornton Interchange is a national finalist in the “People’s Choice” category of the America’s Transportation Awards (ATA).

Public voting is open and continuing through Sept. 21 online at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org.

The project previously won ATA regional honors in late June. Idaho’s Thornton project was selected by the judges to move on to The People’s Choice award (and/or Grand Prize) and a shot at $10,000 in prize money. The prize money will be donated to a charity or scholarship program chosen by the winning state department of transportation. The winner will be announced Sept. 27 in Phoenix.

The awards are a joint effort of AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“This shows that the Idaho Transportation Department is being recognized as one of the best transportation departments in the country, and ultimately this excellence benefits all of Idaho’s drivers,” said ITD Eastern Idaho District Engineer Jason Minzghor.

“The Thornton project will greatly enhance safety and mobility in eastern Idaho area, and most importantly, saves lives.”

The opening of the new Thornton Interchange in eastern Idaho south of Rexburg marked the culmination of more than a decade of U.S. 20 safety improvements. Thornton was the last of seven new interchanges built in a 34-mile stretch of U.S. 20 between Idaho Falls and Sugar City to improve access management and traffic flow for greater highway safety and mobility.

Watch the video of the Thornton project below.

Despite traffic volumes more than doubling, these improvements drastically decreased serious-injury crashes and fatalities. In addition, several money-saving innovations and technological advances saved at least $450,000.

“Providing the contractor with a 3-D model for the Thornton Interchange and requiring them to use automated grade control during construction shortened the required construction time and reduced the impact to traffic through the busiest part of the summer,” said ITD District 6 Engineering Manager Wade Allen.

This marks the fourth Idaho project to advance to the national People’s Choice stage of the America’s Transportation Awards since 2013.

 

ITD offers back-to-school safety tips for kids, parents, and drivers

The Idaho Transportation Department is committed to safety for all members of the public — even for the smaller, younger members of our communities. Most school zones have been vacant for the past few months – but that’s all changing. Here are some back-to-school safety tips from ITD:

SCHOOL SAFETY: Return to school requires renewed safety focus

SCHOOL SAFETY: Children, drivers should follow bus-safety guidelines

SCHOOL SAFETY: Make sure vehicle is road ready before handing keys to teen drivers

SCHOOL SAFETY: School zones require reduced speeds, increased awareness

SCHOOL SAFETY: Parents should prepare children before walks to school

ITD gives final go-ahead for Northgate Interchange

Northgate Interchange Plan

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has given the final approval to begin developing the Northgate (Siphon Road) Interchange in Bannock County. The department provided the final signature on the agreement between ITD and several public and private partners during Thursday’s Idaho Transportation Board meeting in Coeur d’Alene.

The partnership consists of Millennial Development, city of Chubbuck, city of Pocatello, Bannock County, Pocatello Development Authority and ITD.

The project will connect parts of north Pocatello and Chubbuck to Interstate 15 near Siphon Road.

ITD will now begin the selection process to design the interchange, with the goal of breaking ground in the spring of 2018 and completing the project in the fall. 

“We think it will increase mobility and bring greater economic opportunity for the community,” said Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead. “This interchange presents a unique opportunity to create a public-private partnership that can serve as a model for the future.”