Construction to begin on I-84 exit 90 ramps near Mountain Home

crews rebuild road ramp

MOUNTAIN HOME – Construction on the I-84 Business Loop outside Mountain Home continues and will move to the westbound on- and off-ramps for Interstate 84 at Exit 90.

The complete rebuild of the ramps is expected to start Monday, July 24. Crews will be working during the day so the traveling public is advised to use caution while driving in the project zone. Construction on this section is expected to last three weeks.

During this time, the westbound off-ramp will be closed to traffic. Vehicles wider than 11 feet will not be allowed on the westbound on-ramp. Detours will be in place and all traffic is advised to use Exit 95. The speed limit will also be reduced to 45 mph.

This is the next phase of a project that is rebuilding the ramps and a roughly one-mile stretch of the I-84 Business Loop (Old U.S. 30). Sunroc Corp. is the contractor for this $2.4 million project.

Note: Previously, the westbound off-ramp was planned to stay open with width and length restrictions. Plans have been revised to close the ramp altogether.

ITD performance, innovation chronicled by United Kingdom media

Dramatically improved performance benefiting the road user has raised the profile of the Idaho Transportation Department nationally, and beyond. The article linked below comes from Traffic Technology International, a media outlet from the United Kingdom:

Read Article

ITD is actually mentioned twice in the magazine — there is a second article, about Weigh-In-Motion technology, that runs from pages 38-42.

 

 

 

Celebrating essential partnership with birds, bees and bugs


Although the third week in June is recognized as Idaho Pollinator Week, the essential partnership between birds, bugs and birds and agriculture and government agencies is celebrated year-round. ITD continually promotes awareness of pollinators and pollinator habitats.

Taking a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations, Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable services to our ecosystem provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles.

Pollinator species such as birds and insects are increasingly recognized as essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing much of our food supply. Because Idaho is so agriculturally dependent, that partnership is especially important in the Gem State.

ITD is involved in several activities that promote pollinators/pollinator habitats, most notably the Operation Wildflower Program, where districts distribute native forbs to volunteer groups to seed along selected roadsides, rights of way, or slopes.

Seal coat work starts Tuesday (June 13) on section of U.S. 95

Chip Seal Coat

LEWISTON – Seal coating will be done on sections of U.S. 95 starting Tuesday (June 13) from the Little Salmon River Bridge to the south city limits of Riggins, as crews lay a top protective layer to extend the life of the underlying pavement. The work is expected to take several weeks, depending on weather.

Below is a list of the routes and locations that will be seal coated. During work, motorist should expect minor delays, and flaggers or pilot cars may be used to guide traffic.

Location
U.S. 95, Little Salmon River Bridge to Riggins South City Limits (milepost 185.4-194.6)
U.S. 95, Riggins North City Limits to Goff Bridge (milepost 196.2-197.3)
U.S. 95, Skookumchuck to White Bird Bridge (milepost 219.1-223.7)
U.S. 95, Bottom of White Bird Hill to Johnston Rd. (milepost 234-242)
U.S. 95, Westlake Road to N. Winchester Approach (milepost 273.7-279.7)
U.S. 95B, Craigmont Business Loop (milepost 271.8-273.5)
SH 14, Jct. Hwy 13 & 14 to S. Fork Clearwater Road Bridge (milepost 0-8.7)

Knife River Construction is the contractor on this $1.22 million work.

Culvert replacement on Idaho 62 in Nezperce starts Monday (June 12)

Culvert under ID-62

LEWISTON – A culvert-replacement project is slated to begin Monday (June 12) on Idaho 62 in Nezperce and wrap up by the end of the month. This is necessary to replace an aging, large arc pipe that Holes Creek flows through.

The existing arc pipe at milepost 10.5, built in 1953, will be replaced with a bottomless arc pipe.

During replacement of the culvert, the highway will be closed and drivers will detour around the area using Powerline Road. Powerline Road connects with Idaho 62 at milepost 14 and milepost 3.

Crews will work a Monday-through-Friday schedule, with a day shift starting at 7 a.m. and a night shift starting at 5 p.m. Weekend work may be necessary to ensure the project is completed on schedule.

Crea Construction Inc., of Lewiston, is the contractor on this $376,000 project.

ITD working with driver’s license provider to address DMV outages

Technical difficulties

BOISE – In recent months, county DMV locations have experienced an increased number of outages to driver’s license services. This has created prolonged delays for Idahoans.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is devoting all available technology services towards investigating the root of this problem. The department is working hand in hand with its driver’s license provider, Gemalto, in this effort.

Gemalto has sent a team of specialists to Boise to join ITD’s team to investigate and fix this issue. Through this collaboration, ITD hopes to find a solution quickly.

ITD is placing as many resources on this as possible because the delays at the county DMVs are not up to the department’s standard. One pillar of ITD’s mission is “Your Economic Opportunity” and delaying the regular business of the traveling public does not fulfill that goal.

The department thanks the public and our county partners for showing patience while this issue is resolved.

ITD gearing up for eclipse chasers

Preparations at ITD Headquarters and in the districts are well underway for the 2017 total solar eclipse.

Officials throughout the department are planning for the event, coordinating with state and local governments and other community leaders on preparations.

ITD wants to make viewing of the solar eclipse in Idaho a safe and enjoyable experience for residents and visitors alike by keeping highways open and traffic flowing.

In case you haven’t heard, the eclipse is a big deal. The moon will fully obscure the sun for more than two minutes, completely shadowing a narrow band of the lower 48 for the first time since 1979.

Southern Idaho lies in the center of that band, which is referred to as the “Path of Totality.” The moon’s umbra shadow will pass over the countryside through this band.

ITD is developing an incident-response plan, identifying locations that may become bottlenecks, and developing traffic-control plans. Officials tentatively anticipate they may suspend highway construction Friday through Wednesday.

Make your plans – and support ITD in making its preparations. The agency aims to provide the level of service expected of the best transportation department in the country.

To catch the excitement of this major celestial event, see the projected path of the shadow as it passes over Idaho https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4515.

The state’s typically sunny August weather means there is a good chance there will be few, if any, clouds in the sky when the eclipse occurs.

The point isn’t lost on eclipse chasers, who have booked up motels, campgrounds and even homes in the region to view the “totality.”

They also like the fact that Idaho is situated at a high altitude, closer to the sky than many parts of the country. Estimates are for tens and even hundreds of thousands of people to descend on Idaho — some projections put the migration at more than one million.

The event begins in the late morning of August. 21 in Weiser and ends in the early afternoon in Driggs. Other towns in the center of the path are Mackay, Mud Lake, Rigby, Rexburg and Victor. Area residents should buckle up.

If you unavailable, uninterested or have other plans August 21 and intend to catch the next total solar eclipse in Idaho, prepare to wait for 152 years.

Major construction planned in Coeur d’Alene area this summer

Major construction will impact north Idaho traffic in and around the Coeur d’Alene area this summer. Interstate 90, U.S. 95, and other area roads will be impacted. The Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with the city to reach out to the driving public with critical information on these upcoming impacts.

There may be five or six projects within a five-mile radius of town. The projects will repair and replace deficient pavements and upgrade routes and signs.

You can see a map of the projects here.

The pavement being replaced is deficient, and some of the work can be directly linked to this year’s rough winter. These projects will result in more efficient traffic flow, better visibility and improved safety.

Drivers are encouraged to slow down, pay attention and be aware. There will be lane closures, lane shifts, reduced speeds, and delays. Motorists may need to plan alternate routes if possible.  One of the best things a driver can do is check the traveler information system at 511.idaho.gov frequently.

I-84 resurfacing between Nampa and Caldwell begins

I-84 Repaving Map

BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Department will begin initial construction activities next week on a summer project to resurface deteriorated pavement on Interstate 84 between Nampa and Caldwell.

ITD will share details about construction activities and sequencing at a community open house Thursday, May 25 at the Hampton Inn at 5770 Franklin Road in Nampa. Community members are invited to come at their convenience from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

ITD is using weekend and nighttime traffic control to minimize traffic impacts during the weekday commute.

During four weekends this summer, ITD will shift all I-84 traffic to one side of the interstate (eastbound or westbound) while crews work on the other side. On these four weekends, one lane of traffic will be open in both directions between Nampa and Caldwell from 7 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. All lanes of I-84 will be open during the weekday.

Check out the project website here.

Final weekend dates will be scheduled based on factors such as traffic counts, weather predictions, equipment and materials availability, and the project schedule.

Community members may request email notification of the weekend dates by texting INTERSTATE84 to 22828. ITD will announce exact dates as soon as they are scheduled.

Other traffic impacts for the project will include occasional nighttime lane restrictions, shoulder closures and speed-limit reductions. The project includes resurfacing I-84, the Northside Boulevard interchange ramps and two ramps at the Franklin Boulevard Interchange. Guardrails will be improved throughout the project area.

Idaho Materials Construction is the contractor for this $9.5 million project.

“Look Twice for Motorcycles” during May’s Motorcycle Awareness Month

BOISE – Warming temperatures have people across the state looking for ways to get out and enjoy the spring weather. For many Idahoans, that enjoyment comes by riding a motorcycle on one of our many scenic highways.

“Idaho is a great place for motorcycle riding,” said Lane Triplett from the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety. “Our roads have beautiful scenic views that require varying degrees of technical riding ability, which is why riders from around the globe come to our state.”

Idaho’s beautiful highways have been a dangerous place for some motorcyclists — 140 people were killed in motorcycle crashes between 2011 and 2016, with 42 percent of those crashes involving other vehicles.

“Drivers and riders alike need to share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe,” said Triplett. “We realize it’s our job to ride safely and sanely but we want you to take that extra second and think about motorcyclists while we’re out on the highway.”

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and its partners in motorcycle safety remind drivers to “Look Twice for Motorcycles” to help prevent motorcycle rider deaths and injuries during May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

“As drivers, we need to do our part and look out for motorcyclists because they are smaller and hard to see,” said Josephine Middleton, of ITD’s Office of Highway Safety.

“As motorcyclists, we need to wear protective gear and always be prepared for the worst, because in most crashes between motorcycles and other vehicles, the drivers of the other vehicle did not see the motorcycle until it was too late,” Middleton explained.

She offered tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

• Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has the same rights as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
• Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
• If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
• Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
• Always allow more following distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
• Never drive or ride distracted or impaired.

Completion of the Idaho STAR Motorcycle Rider Training Program may mean up to an 89-percent reduction in the risk of a fatal crash, according to analysis of crash data.

“Can you reduce your chance of crashing on a motorcycle? Yes, you can, by taking motorcycle-rider training,” said Sunshine Beer, director of the Idaho STAR Program.

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:

• Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
• Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
• Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
• Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
• Ride in the part of the lane where you will be the most visible to drivers.
• Never ride distracted or impaired.

To learn more about the Idaho STAR motorcycle-rider training program, go to http://idahostar.org/