ID-3: St. Maries Bridge Replacements Schedule Adjusted

In the original St. Maries Bridge Replacements project schedule, the railroad bridge was to be constructed prior to the river bridge. However, with unforeseen delays during the first several weeks, there is no longer time to construct the railroad bridge without impacting the construction of river bridge, and the river bridge construction is the critical path to overall project completion. The project team is currently reworking the construction schedule with the Idaho Department of Transportation. This will NOT change the overall completion date of the project.

The schedule below reflects the new proposed timeline. The only difference between this and the original schedule is the timing of the railroad bridge work:

  • Early winter 2017 through late winter 2018: Crews will construct the river bridge foundation.
    • Riverside Ave between 4th and 1st Streets will be closed intermittently.
    • Additional intermittent lane closures will take place as needed to mobilize equipment.
  • Late winter through summer 2018: Crews will construct the west half of the new river bridge and will complete improvements on Railroad Ave.
    • The road will be reduced to one lane with a temporary signal to direct traffic.
    • Delays during peak hours can be expected.
    • A pedestrian pathway will be maintained.
  • Summer through fall 2018: Crews will remove and replace the railroad bridge.
    • The detour through town will be in place.
  • Summer through winter 2018: Crews will construct the east half of the river bridge.
    • Two-way traffic will be shifted onto the new west side of the bridge.
    • A pedestrian pathway will be maintained.

Please note that this schedule is still subject to change as the design is further developed and as critical subcontractors are secured.

Crews will complete the detour paving today in preparation for the railroad bridge closure in summer 2018. However, for approximately one week in the near future, the railroad bridge will be closed, and the detour route will be put into effect. This will take place as crews repair a utility pipe that broke last week.

Once the pipe is repaired, roadway impacts will be minimal until the river bridge is reduced to one lane in late winter 2018.

For questions or concerns call Gemma Puddy at 208-292-8515.

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.

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.”

Please, drivers: Celebrate eclipse, don’t add impairment to the mix

Summer is winding down, but with the Great American Eclipse and Labor Day weekend just around the corner, Idaho’s summer travel season should be busy to the very end. Sadly, both events have the potential to become tragic, with drunk drivers endangering themselves and others on Idaho’s roadways.

In an effort to reduce drunk driving crashes and to save lives, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement agencies across Idaho for a high-visibility mobilization.

The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, begins this week and runs through the Labor Day weekend holiday. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk driving.

“Our goal is to have zero traffic-related deaths in Idaho,” said Ken Corder from the Office of Highway Safety. “Seeing more officers on the roads during this busy time of year will serve as a reminder to drivers that we all need to do our part to keep our roads safe.”

According to NHTSA, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015 – approximately one person died every 51 minutes as a result of drunk driving. During the mobilization, officers will have a zero-tolerance stance on drunk driving.

“Between the eclipse and Labor Day, we expect to see more people out enjoying the last few weekends of summer,” Corder said. “We want people to enjoy these events safely – if you plan to drink, use a designated driver, call a taxi, use a ride sharing app or call a friend or family member. There’s no reason to get behind the wheel if you choose to drink.”

ITD and NHTSA are reminding citizens of the many resources available to get them home safely.

“Drunk driving is not acceptable behavior,” said Idaho Highway Safety Manager, John Tomlinson. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, from the Eclipse through the Labor Day holiday, we will make zero exceptions for drunk driving. There are just no excuses,” he said.

Tin Cup Beaver Dam Restoration project benefits wildlife and ITD

POCATELLO – If Ruffles have ridges, what do riffles have? Beavers, it turns out.

When a few beaver dams on Tin Cup Creek in southeast Idaho started backing up water last fall at a culvert on Idaho Highway 34 and threatening to undermine the road, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) was faced with the complication of adding underwater bridge inspections for that remote site.

Instead, they added riffles — really good riffles. ITD constructed the riffles (rocky or shallow parts of a rough-water stream or river) to entice the beavers to build. That’s exactly what they did.

ITD crews first removed three beaver dams downstream of the culvert to lower the water level at the crossing. They also removed one dam just upstream of the structure, which lowered the stream channel and de-watered adjacent wetlands in a stretch of the creek.

In collaboration with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, ITD crews repaired the stream by building two in-stream rock riffles over two days in mid-July. The result was better than what Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game (IDFG) wildlife fisheries biologist Corey Lyman expected.

The photo above shows Mark Porter (ITD District 5 Maintenance Operations) operating a Track Machine while building a riffle. The photo below, taken Aug. 8, shows a beaver dam already built on the new riffles.

The work not only stabilized the channel and protected the culvert, but also permanently raised the creek bottom, which had eroded down enough to disconnect the water from the creek banks and willow-filled floodplain. Streambed work also improved habitat for fish and for all wildlife living in the area.

“Without water reaching the river banks, the streamside wetlands were drying up and dying, and we were losing the habitat,” explained D5 Sr. Environmental Planner Alissa Salmore. “We essentially re-watered the area.”

The project also allowed members of ITD’s Pocatello, Soda Springs/Wayan, and Montpelier Maintenance sheds to gain experience in stream restoration work. This added to their skill set and reinforced environmental awareness.

Plus, it has already been successful.

“The fish were moving into the dams and claiming territory as we were cleaning up and leaving the project,” said Mark Porter of District 5 Maintenance Operations.

Porter also said that beavers have already begun building over the riffles, which was exactly the intent.