I-90 nighttime lane closures planned between Post Falls and CDA for widening study

Traffic congestion I-90 near Huetter

Nighttime lane closures on I-90 over the next two months will collect data for a study to widen Interstate 90 between the Washington state line and Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene.

Crews will focus on the section between Spokane Street and Northwest Boulevard, closing either a shoulder or lane in one direction at a time. Work will be done at night between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., with the first closure scheduled for tomorrow night.

“The closure will move along the stretch as work progresses, spanning approximately one-quarter to one-half mile in length at any given time,” ITD Project Manager Erika Bowen said.

Drivers are asked to be aware of closures, to slow down and move to the open lane.

With traffic conditions congested now and volumes expected to double by 2045, ITD is studying I-90 from the Washington state line to Coeur d’Alene to identify improvements, modernize the system, reduce crashes and save drivers’ time. The study will evaluate needs and identify potential solutions like additional lanes and reconfigured interchanges to improve safety, capacity and mobility for current and future travel demands.

The work requiring this lane closure will investigate the pavement and foundations along the stretch using radar, drilling and other technologies to determine current surface conditions and the ability of the soil to support any potential new structures.

“Right now, we are collecting data to identify which improvements are needed and expect to bring options to the public this September,” Bowen said.

To learn more about the study and sign up for future updates, visit itdprojects.org/i90corridor. 

This study is funded with Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation (TECM) funds. This deliberate investment of Leading Idaho TECM funds allows ITD to accelerate project timelines to address rapid growth and build critical infrastructure in the CDA area that would otherwise take many years to build.

Night work to begin Monday for SH-3 widening near St. Maries

Crews have excavated the southbound lane of SH-3 to widen it

Starting Monday, May 9, crews will start working at night to haul away waste materials for construction to widen three miles of State Highway 3 near St. Maries.

“This will really impact residents along the detour route, since trucks will need to use Goosehaven Road to access the site,” Project Manager Matt Heinichen said.

Crews will continue to work on SH-3 during the day, but now residents and other drivers will have to contend with increased truck traffic and noise on Goosehaven Road, starting at 8 p.m. each night. A pilot car will be in use during the day, but between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. trucks will travel in groups with traffic controlled by a flagger.

“Night work is expected to last one month until workers are done excavating the northbound lane,” Heinichen said. “Right now there’s not enough space to have trucks to efficiently deliver materials to the site and haul away waste at the same time.”

Download a photo of excavation on SH-3.

Plans call for the highway to be widened by 11 feet to the east, making room for 11-foot travel lanes and 3-foot shoulders. Guardrail will be installed along the east side, with the project set to be complete in August.

Learn more about the project at itdprojects.org/stmariesdike.

Public invited to learn about construction on US-95 later this summer

Drone shot of the southern end of the Long Bridge

The Idaho Transportation Department will host an open house on Thursday, April 21, for construction later this summer on U.S. Highway 95 between Sagle Road and Lakeshore Drive.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Northern Lights building at 421 Chevy Street in Sagle. Information about the project’s timeline, construction impacts and future plans for the US-95 corridor will be provided. No formal presentation will be given, but the project team will be available to answer questions.

The first phase of the project started in fall 2021 and built a new acceleration lane for drivers turning from Lakeshore Drive to head south on US-95. Earlier this week, crews started installing signs in the area and plan to finish striping as soon as weather allows.

“We need two days of good weather to put down fresh paint, so pay attention to signage in the area to know when your commute will be impacted,” ITD Project Manager Phil Stout said. “Two-way traffic will be maintained while the crews work during during the day.”

Construction for the second phase of the project is anticipated to start in August 2022. This season a U-turn on US-95 will be built as an alternative for drivers wanting to turn left from Lakeshore Drive, and the highway will be repaved from Monarch Road in Sagle to the Long Bridge. Next spring, a signal will be installed at the US-95 and Sagle Road intersection with a detour in place for Sagle Road east of the intersection.

“We know drivers have been dealing with potholes all spring, so we added work to the project to address that concern,” Stout said. “Our operations staff will continue to fill them in as needed, but this should provide long-term relief.”

The median U-turn and repaving will be completed by winter. During the U-turn construction, two-way traffic will be maintained during daytime hours, but during nighttime repaving, the highway will be reduced to one lane.

“Some of these details are subject to change once we have a contractor on board, but we want drivers to be aware of what is coming and know how to use the new U-turn,” Stout said.

The open house will also share an unfunded, potential concept for improvements at Bottle Bay Road, as well a study now underway to provide more details on what US-95 will look like in the future.

Join the project team at the open house or visit the website at itdprojects.org/us95lakeshoredrive to view construction updates and more information.

Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down

Work zones are a sign to slow down

National Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15

IDAHO – National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) will be observed April 11-15 with this year’s theme of “Work Zones are a Sign to Slow Down.” The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is asking motorists to observe NWZAW and prepare to safely drive through work zones across Idaho.

As part of NWZAW, Idahoans are encouraged

to participate in Go Orange Day on April 13 by wearing orange as a visual reminder of work zones. Photos can be posted on social media using the hashtags #NWZAW and #GoOrange4Safety.

The awareness week ends with a moment of silence on April 15 for people killed in work zone incidents.

Statistics from the National Work Zone Safety

Information Clearinghouse demonstrate the importance of work zone safety and participating in NWZAW to spread the message that everyone has a role in getting roadway workers home safely.

  • There were 762 fatal crashes in work zones resulting in 842 deaths in 2019.
  • Of the 842 fatalities in 2019, 135 were roadway workers.
  • Most people killed in work zones were motorists, passengers, and pedestrians.

NWZAW has been observed for more than 20 years and was launched as a public awareness campaign to help everyone understand they play a role in keeping motorists and roadway workers safe.

As construction season kicks off around the state, it’s important for drivers to remember that work zones come in all shapes and sizes. They can be long or short duration and can occur anywhere, from the middle of a large city to even the most rural routes. ITD encourages all motorists to plan ahead, follow signs, and drive engaged each time they get behind the wheel.

To learn more about NWZAW, visit nwzaw.org.

Drunk driver cited after work zone incident on I-90 in January

Potholes on I-90 near Kellogg

This National Work Zone Awareness Week, ITD would like to remind drivers how to be safe in work zones.

Work zones aren’t just limited to the primary construction season – they can pop up at moment’s notice and times you wouldn’t expect to see them.

That was the case on January 15 when D1 operator Jed Henderson was dispatched to I-90 near Kellogg to fill in potholes.

“It was early evening and in the winter, so it was still dark out. The potholes were about 8 inches deep, and we needed to fix them,” Henderson said.

They were so deep that Henderson brought the mix to the site in the bucket of the loader so he could shovel it into the holes.

Ten minutes later and Henderson was cleaning up material on the shoulder when a driver blew past other equipment and ran into one of the tires on the loader.

The car then went sideways and was impacted by another car.

“We were lucky no one was hurt,” Henderson said. “Just minutes before we had been standing in that spot.”

Strapped in the seat of a 55,000-pound loader, Henderson said he barely felt the collision – but it has changed how he approaches the job.

Henderson stands by a loader
Henderson stands by a loader

“You spend every week working next to 70 mph traffic and you almost get used to it,” Henderson said. “You think it won’t happen to you and then it does.”

Idaho State Police investigated the incident and cited the driver for driving under the influence, which as a first-time offense is a misdemeanor with a penalty of a $1,000 fine and a one-year license suspension.

Safety project to start next week near St. Maries

Narrow shoulders on ID-3

Next week work will impact Goosehaven Road near St. Maries as crews prepare to start construction of a safety project on State Highway 3.

Starting Monday, April 18, the Idaho Transportation Department will improve Goosehaven Road by adding more material and then leveling the route so it may serve as a detour for construction on SH-3 this summer.

“That week drivers should prepare for delays on Goosehaven Road but not on SH-3,” Project Manager Matt Heinichen said. “We will also apply material to minimize dust created while traffic uses the detour.”

Major construction to widen three miles of SH-3 will begin the following week and take three months to complete. Weather may affect the schedule, so drivers should pay attention to signs in the area and check 511.idaho.gov for exact timing.

“Closing the highway completely will allow us to expedite construction,” Heinichen said. “We have been working with the county to minimize impacts, and this detour is critical to getting the work done.”

Plans call for the highway to be widened by 11 feet to the east, making room for 11-foot travel lanes and 3-foot shoulders. Guardrail will be installed along the east side.

Learn more about the project at itdprojects.org/stmariesdike.

Several bridges in CDA to be repaired this summer

Cars pass underneath US-95 on Northwest Boulevard in CDA

Several bridges in the Coeur d’Alene area will be repaired this summer, with work scheduled to begin first on the US-95 bridge over Northwest Boulevard.

Construction will start Monday, April 4, to paint the steel railing and remove and replace the surface of the US-95 structure. During the two months of work, southbound drivers will not be able to use the left turn lane on the bridge to access downtown via Northwest Boulevard.

As part of this project, other bridges will also be improved this season:

  • Starting in early May, crews will close one lane of the bridge on Potlatch Hill Road where it crosses over Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive and provides access to the Terraces at Lake Coeur d’Alene. Temporary signals will be in place for one month to control one lane of traffic.
  • Starting in June, Seventh Street over I-90 will close, and traffic will be detoured to Ninth Street for one month.
  • Starting in early July, the bridge on I-90 over Wolf Lodge Creek will be sealed to prevent damage from weather. Crews will close one lane in each direction for one month.
  • Starting in late July, crews will close one lane in each direction on the Greensferry Road overpass in Post Falls for a few days as they work on joints that allow the bridge to expand and contract with the weather.

Impacts will vary by bridge and by type of work, with some work zones scheduled to be in place for a few days to a few months.

Later this summer, a different project will also address repairs to another six bridges in the Coeur d’Alene area, including the Spokane River Bridge on US-95.

As more work zones begin to affect traffic, drivers should check 511.idaho.gov to plan their commutes.

Upgrades to US-95 in Bonners Ferry to begin next week

Traffic on US-95 in Bonners Ferry near Eisenhower Street

A two-year project will begin Monday, April 4, to extend the three-lane section on U.S. Highway 95 from Alderson Lane to Labrosse Hill Street in Bonners Ferry.

Drivers can generally expect a lane to be open in each direction. Most work will take place during the day, with some night work and detours possible as intersections and driveways are improved.

The first year of work is expected to wrap up in October and will focus on US-95 from Alderson Lane to Eisenhower Street.

After this project ends in 2023, this section of highway will also feature wider shoulders, sidewalks on both sides, new lighting and updated drainage.

Construction from 2018 to 2020 built similar improvements from the Kootenai River Bridge to Alderson Lane. Learn more about this project at itdprojects.org/us95bonnersferry.

New machine to pick up trash on I-90 this spring

New trash machine working in the median of I-90

The Idaho Transportation Department will use a new machine this spring to pick up trash along Interstate 90 from Washington to Coeur d’Alene.

“Now that the snow has melted, everyone can see the ugly truth about how much garbage has been piling up all winter,” Operations Engineer Jerry Wilson said. “This year, we have already started our cleanup efforts and will use a new machine, once conditions allow, to do it more efficiently.”

The department invested in the machine to speed up the collection process. It only takes two operators: one to drive the machine, which uses metal teeth to comb through the grass, and another to haul the trash away in a dump truck.

“To do one mile by hand, it takes five operators working together for eight hours,” Wilson said. “With the machine, we can cut that down to two people working five hours and still cover the same distance.”

The machine works well in the flat areas in the median, which Adopt-A-Highway volunteers are typically encouraged to avoid for their own safety.

“We will continue to rely on volunteers through the Adopt-A-Highway program to help get this mess cleaned up,” Wilson said. “They are just as valuable to us as this new machine, and we are inspired by the effort they make every year to keep Idaho beautiful.”

In 2021, volunteers in North Idaho picked up 4,171 bags of litter or about 72.8 tons – enough to fill 18 garbage trucks.

“There’s always a lag time between when the snow melts and the trash gets picked up, but once the median gets less muddy, and we have the dump truck ready to go, you’ll see us out there using the new equipment,” Wilson said.

 

Construction starts next week to replace two I-90 overpasses in Kellogg

Traffic passes underneath I-90 on Division Street in Kellogg

*Updated March 3 to show that the start date is dependent on weather. Less precipitation and warmer temperatures will be needed to begin work, and based on the current forecast, the start date will likely shift to March 14. Check 511 as we get closer to construction to confirm. 

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin replacement of the Interstate 90 overpasses at Division Street and Elizabeth Park Road next week to improve safety.

Construction is anticipated to start Monday, March 7, with traffic on I-90 restricted to one lane in each direction at all times. Work is expected to take two seasons, with each season starting in March and lasting through October. All lanes will be open during the winter between construction seasons.

The project also includes widening the eastbound on-ramp at Division Street and repaving both streets under the overpasses.

Map of two interchanges to be replaced in Kellogg
Map of two interchanges to be replaced in Kellogg

Motorists should plan for the following impacts:

Division Street:

  • Both lanes will be open under the I-90 overpass with minimal closures as needed.
  • On-street parking under the overpass will not be allowed.
  • Sidewalks will be closed under I-90 with a signed pedestrian detour.
  • Ramp work will take place in the shoulders with minimal impacts to drivers.

Elizabeth Park Road:

  • Drivers can expect one-way alternating traffic controlled by temporary traffic signals on Elizabeth Park Road under I-90.
  • Elizabeth Park Road will be closed for several nights each construction season as crews demolish each structure before building a new one. Digital message boards will provide warnings at least one week in advance of any road closures as a detour is not available and will not be posted.

The bridges date back to the 1960s. For up-to-date information on this project, please visit itdprojects.org/i90divisionelizabeth.

Drivers will also encounter several other work zones on I-90 later this summer.

  • Four miles east of the bottom of Fourth of July Pass will be repaved, and barrier will be installed to prevent head-on crashes on the freeway. A contractor is not on board yet, but work is expected to take place between June and October with one lane in each direction closed.
  • One westbound lane will be closed at the Golconda interchange starting in April or May as the bridge is repaired. Repairs would take through September to complete.
  • Repairs to concrete barrier between Mullan and Montana are expected to start in April or May and require single-lane closures in one direction at a time.
  • The worst ramps in Shoshone County will be repaved this summer, with work starting as early as May. As ramps are resurfaced, they will be closed for about a day each. All work is scheduled to take about six weeks.
  • Paving between Wallace and Mullan is scheduled to begin in June and take until September, with traffic reduced to one lane in each direction.

Travelers should check 511.idaho.gov to learn about traffic impacts before driving.