Safety improvements on US-95 in Bonners Ferry to begin next week

South Hill

Reconstruction of US-95 through Bonners Ferry will begin during the week of May 14 and is expected to improve safety.

Crews will work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some night work will be permitted. One lane in each direction will remain open during the day, but night work will require alternating, one-way traffic.

To learn more about this project, the public may attend a meeting on Thursday, May 10 at 1 p.m. at the Bonners Ferry Visitor Center. Project staff will be available to provide construction details.

This two-year project will reconstruct the highway and improve pedestrian facilities between Alderson Lane and the bridge over the Kootenai River. Construction between Madison Street and the bridge will end in early October, and Madison Street to Alderson Lane will be reconstructed in 2019.

The highway will be expanded to three lanes and will include wider shoulders that can be used as bike lanes and separated sidewalks on both sides. The aging signal at Alderson Lane will not be replaced by the state after widening the highway.

After construction, the highway will transition from four lanes to two lanes at the bottom of the South Hill, addressing safety concerns by allowing drivers to merge before the crosswalk and the Madison Street intersection at the top of the hill. Reconfiguration of lanes is intended to reduce speeding, and vehicles entering the highway from Ash Street will also be able to use new acceleration lanes.

Construction to extend improvements from Alderson Lane to Labrosse Hill Street could begin as early as 2020.

Throughout construction, the public may receive updates by visiting the project website, checking 511 or attending weekly meetings held every Thursday. Once a schedule is finalized, details about the weekly meetings will be posted to the website.

Reconstruction of I-90 near Mullan continues

I-90 Mullan

Construction of 1.5 miles of Interstate 90 near Mullan will start the week of April 30 and last until October.

One lane in each direction will remain open at all times during construction.

Last year crews reconstructed 4.5 miles of I-90 between Mullan and the state line. Work this year will extend to the west of that project and be completed fall 2019.

Bridge replacement in Oldtown begins next week

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin construction to replace the bridge between Oldtown, Idaho, and Newport, Washington, that spans the railroad tracks beginning the week of April 30. Completion is scheduled for fall 2019.

The existing bridge, built in 1966, has reached the end of its design life. The new bridge will feature two lanes with a center median, lights and sidewalks.

The bridge will be demolished and rebuilt one half at a time. Traffic will be reduced to one lane across the structure with signals on either end guiding motorists through the work zone. Construction will pause during the winter months and resume in the spring. During that time, both lanes will be open.

Additionally, the intersection of Fourth Street and Idaho Highway 41 near the bridge will be closed for improvements.

Throughout construction, check 511 for the latest impacts.

 

Work on I-90 Blue Creek Bay Bridges east of CDA begins Monday

Blue Creek Bay Bridge

Repair work on the westbound bridge over Blue Creek Bay on Interstate 90 is anticipated to begin Monday, April 23 and last until October. After a winter shutdown, work will begin on the eastbound bridge next spring and continue through the fall.

Work this year will focus on the deck and support structures of the westbound bridge. Traffic will shift to the eastbound bridge and be reduced to one lane in each direction.

Work on the westbound bridge deck will cease this October, but work on the support structures underneath both bridges will continue. Four lanes will be open for traffic during the winter shutdown.

Once work starts on the eastbound bridge, traffic will be reduced to one lane and shifted onto the westbound bridge.

While work is underway, those recreating on the water will be directed away from the construction zone for safety reasons.

To receive periodic updates about this and other projects in the area, send an email to Megan.Sausser@itd.idaho.gov to sign up for the CDA Traffic Impacts e-newsletter. For the most up-to-date information, check 511.idaho.gov.

Pet peeves, anonymous notes and 25 years

Sherry Mundt has a particular pet peeve. She doesn’t like trash, and she really doesn’t like seeing it next to highways.

Her 680-acre farm sits along US-95 just eight miles south of Coeur d’Alene. Situated along a major route for locals and waste management services, she has seen her fair share of waste pile up next to the road.

“I’d be driving to town or heading back home, and I’d notice trash,” Mundt said. “I’d be mentally picking it up while I drove.”

Mundt finds the litter bothersome, and she takes pride in her community. That’s why 25 years ago she became an active participant in the Adopt-A-Highway program—a branch of the Idaho Transportation Department that connects volunteers with supplies and services to reduce trash along highways.

Although Mundt tends to other sections, the one-mile stretch in front of her property is her primary focus. Twice a year she spends 30 hours removing 30-40 bags of litter from that section alone.

Robin Karsann, an Adopt-A-Highway coordinator for North Idaho, said volunteers like Mundt collect enough trash from the area to fill 20 residential garbage trucks every year.

“More than 2,000 volunteers gave nearly 5,000 hours last year,” Karsann said. “That is a significant savings and outstanding benefit to our community.”

Throughout the years, Mundt said she had her own community of cheerleaders. Motorists passing by would honk to show their support and crews with the Idaho Transportation Department would offer assistance.

Then five years ago a new form of support found its way to Mundt’s mailbox. Little notes of gratitude and gift cards signed by neighbors she had yet to meet appeared regularly after her semiannual cleaning sessions.

“I kept them because they were encouraging,” Mundt said. “I’d read them before I signed up for another couple of years. They inspired me to keep doing what I was doing.”

It was not until this last January that Mundt met those neighborhood supporters, Mike and Kathy Barnes from the Mica Flats area, at another community function.

“Turns out they would occasionally take their children out to pick up trash, too,” Mundt said. “They said they wanted their children to learn to be like me.”

Mundt, now in her early 60s, will resign from Adopt-A-Highway duties next April, but she said she does not doubt that her community will continue in her stead.

“The ongoing dedication of community members like Mundt who continue to help keep our highways clean year after year cannot be appreciated enough,” Karsann said.

For anyone who would like to adopt a stretch of highway, there are more than 100 miles still available in North Idaho. Interested volunteers may contact the Coeur d’Alene office at (208) 772-1200 or visit itd.idaho.gov/road-mtce.

Day work begins on April 9 to resurface I-90 in CDA

Daytime construction work on Interstate 90 between Northwest Boulevard and Ninth Street will begin on Monday, April 9. Construction will last until October.  

This project will resurface the interstate, increase height clearances of the bridges and improve traveler safety with new guardrail, signs and lighting.

Two lanes will remain open in each direction, but commuters can expect speed reductions and narrow lanes.

Later this season, there will be intermittent ramp closures during the day and at night as crews work on the shoulders and repave several ramps along the interstate, including those at Northwest Boulevard and Fourth Street. The surface of the westbound Centennial Bridge will also be repaired.

Crews will work at night, during the day and most Saturdays throughout the project. Ramp closures will be announced through roadside signs, 511 and a weekly e-newsletter.

This is the final year of a two-year project to resurface and reconstruct the interstate between Northwest Boulevard and Sherman Avenue. Last year, the interstate was reconstructed between Sherman Avenue and Ninth Street, and the eastbound Centennial Bridge received minor maintenance work.

Interstate Concrete and Asphalt will perform the work for $23.5 million.

To subscribe to the newsletter on construction impacts in the Coeur d’Alene area, contact Megan Sausser at Megan.Sausser@itd.idaho.gov.

Public invited to meeting on April 12 about Strong Creek Bridge replacement in North Idaho

Stone-creek-bridge

The Idaho Transportation Department will host a public meeting April 12 to share plans to replace the bridge over Strong Creek in East Hope on the business route of Idaho Highway 200.

The meeting will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Memorial Community Center at 415 Wellington Place. The public is welcome to arrive at any time to talk to project staff and provide comments.

Work to replace the bridge is scheduled for summer 2020. Construction will likely require the complete shutdown of the bridge, with traffic currently planned to detour on ID-200 around the work zone for most of construction.

Comments will be collected from April 12-26, 2018. They can be emailed to the project manager Lee Bernardi at Lee.Bernardi@ITD.idaho.gov or mailed to the office at 600 West Prairie Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815.

Those who cannot attend may learn more about the project and comment online by visiting www.itd.idaho.gov/d1, selecting projects and finding “ID-200B: Strong Creek Bridge.”

Reconstruction of the St. Joe River Bridge in St. Maries will require a lane closure soon

Construction on the west half of the St. Joe River Bridge could begin as early as Monday, April 2 after the completion of the bridge’s substructure and prompt the closure of one lane. This is the next phase of a project that began last fall to improve safety for travelers crossing the river.

Travelers can expect up to 15-minute delays while Idaho Highway 3 is reduced to one lane and one pedestrian path over the bridge. Temporary signals will direct traffic.

Once the west half of the bridge is completed in mid to late July, crews will work to complete the east half of the bridge. When crews start work on the east half of the river bridge, they will also begin work on the railroad bridge, which will be completely closed during its reconstruction.

Riverside Avenue, which runs underneath the bridge, will continue to be closed for safety reasons between First and Fourth Streets until further notice. Railroad Avenue, which intersects the highway between the two bridges, is being reconstructed. The road will be closed between ID-3 and Fourth Street until the west half of the St. Joe River Bridge is completed.

The overall project is scheduled to be finished in spring 2019 and includes designing and replacing the bridges over the St. Joe River and the St. Maries Railroad Company tracks.

Upon completion, both bridges will include one lane in each direction with a shoulder and sidewalk on each side. Work will also include reconstructing the highway to match the bridges, replacing guardrail and signs and improving the intersections of Railroad Avenue and Meadowhurst Road with the highway.

Crews will continue to work Monday through Saturday, and Sundays as needed. Residents and businesses will continue to experience occasional noise, dust and vibration during that time.

Record Steel Construction Inc. and J-U-B ENGINEERS Inc. will complete the work for $17.3 million.

Kootenai County partners with ITD to build new path along US-95

US-95 Path

Kootenai County signed a maintenance agreement yesterday with the Idaho Transportation Department to maintain a multi-use path that will extend along 19 miles of US-95 in northern Idaho.

Per the agreement, ITD will reconstruct approximately eight miles of the existing path along the highway from Appleway Avenue to Garwood Road during the summer of 2019. The department will also construct a new path from Garwood Road north to the county line, with construction anticipated in 2020 and 2021.

The entire path will cost $3.2 million to rebuild and construct out to the county line. The county will receive $50,000 from ITD to help with future maintenance responsibilities.

Funds to reconstruct the existing path will come from a $5.1 million FASTLANE grant, which was awarded to ITD and the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization in October 2016 to optimmize the US-95 corridor. To enhance mobility and safety through the corridor, grant funding will also be used to achieve uniform signal spacing, which will require the addition and elimination of some signals.

As ITD continues to design projects to expand US-95 to four lanes, the trail could be extended north to Sagle. The department is currently working with local jurisdictions to construct a new path from the Kootenai County line to Trails End Road in Bonner County as part of future improvements.

State code prevents the department from building paths without first finding local jurisdictions committed to maintaining them. The trail between Appleway Avenue and Garwood Road, which was built in the 1980s, predates this policy.

The agreement with the county eliminates the department’s last path to maintain in the state.

ITD tests new traffic infrastructure in CDA

D1 Traffic Signal

In an effort to improve mobility at a major intersection in Coeur d’Alene, ITD’s North Idaho (District 1) traffic engineers activated a new signal function in December.

The signal at the Fourth Street on-ramp to Interstate 90 heading west now allows two lanes of traffic to turn left after yielding to oncoming vehicles and pedestrians. While local drivers may be familiar with how flashing yellow arrows function, this is the first site in the district—and the state—to use double flashing yellow arrows.

“This is one of the busiest intersections in the Coeur d’Alene metropolitan area, which is the fastest-growing area in the state,” ITD District 1 Traffic Engineer Ben Ward said. “We’re open to finding new ways to move more cars through.”

The idea began with former traffic engineer Ryan Hawkins, who first saw a signal like this while passing through Kennewick, Washington, nearly three years ago.

“Technology like this can be leveraged to maintain mobility in congested corridors,” Hawkins said. “We can’t build our way out of this congestion, so we have to identify other options to optimize the infrastructure we currently have.”

After his trip through Kennewick, Hawkins talked to signal manufacturers and brought the idea back to the department’s working groups tasked with identifying innovative solutions. Access to westbound I-90 from Fourth Street became an informal test site for the rest of the state.

Ward said he was initially concerned the public would be confused when approaching this intersection, but since activating the new function three months ago, there have been no issues.

“We haven’t received any concerned calls, and there haven’t been any crashes out there because of the signal,” Ward said. “The signal is moving traffic better.”

Since there are not many signals like this in the region, Ward plans to monitor the site to determine if this technology should be implemented at other busy intersections, such as Prairie Avenue and ID-41 in an upcoming project.

“Right now, we are still watching the signal to make sure it is safe before we start installing more,” Ward said. “So far, so good.”