US-95 Aht’Wy Interchange shifts into new traffic pattern on November 16

Picture of the new pavement at the Aht'Wy Interchange project

Fall construction is progressing at the Aht’Wy Interchange  on U.S. Highway 95 near the Clearwater River Casino & Lodge RV Park, and motorists should expect a new traffic pattern starting Thursday, November 16.

Drivers will be able to travel on newly paved lanes, with eastbound traffic no longer crossed over to the westbound lanes. A concrete barrier will divide both lanes. Single lanes remain for each direction of travel and the speed limit is lowered for continual safety.

Changes will not affect either entrance to the plaza. At the west entrance, drivers are still unable to turn left from US-95 into the plaza or turn left from the plaza onto US-95.

To see a graphic for access to and from the plaza, please continue to reference this handout.

Construction will continue through the winter, and the project will remain in this traffic pattern until late spring next year. The Idaho Transportation Department and construction partners appreciate the public’s attention to these changes and continued vigilance towards safety.

The Aht’Wy Interchange will allow vehicles and pedestrians to safely cross the highway without impeding the primary flow of traffic. The interchange will feature ramps to connect plaza entrances to US-95. The project is expected to take less than two years to complete.

Updates on the Aht’Wy Interchange can be found by visiting https://itdprojects.idaho.gov/pages/ahtwyinterchange.

Public invited to provide input on plans to replace US-95 and US-12 bridges over Clearwater River

View of Spalding Bridge

The Idaho Transportation Department is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 8, for the community to learn more, ask questions, and provide input for studies underway to replace two aging bridges east of Lewiston.

The public meeting will share preliminary design plans for the Spalding Bridge on U.S. Highway 95 and the Arrow Bridge on U.S. Highway 12. The meeting will be open-house format for the community to drop in between 4 and 7 p.m. at the Clearwater River Casino and Lodge at 17500 Nez Perce Road in Lewiston. Information about the process, goals, benefits, proposed design features, and timelines for the two bridges will be provided. No formal presentation will be given; however, the project team will be available to answer questions.

A self-guided virtual meeting, with the same information as the in-person experience, will also be available at the project website starting Nov. 8. The feedback survey to provide formal comment during these environmental studies, also available on the project website, will be open through Nov. 22.

“These bridges were built over 50 years ago and are an important part of the regional transportation network,” Project Manager Mark Campbell said. “We want this public meeting to be an opportunity for the community to engage in the early project phases to create safe solutions for the future.”

The environmental studies are the first step in the process of upgrading each bridge and their associated highway intersections to meet future traffic needs as well as current design and safety standards. In some cases, shoulders on the bridges are either too narrow or do not have proper height clearances.

Public feedback throughout the study process will be used alongside evaluations of environmental and cultural impacts and considerations to secure an approved National Environmental Policy Act document.

Future steps include detailed designs and construction. Construction is not currently funded for either bridge.

Join the project team at the public meeting or visit the website at itdprojects.org/clearwatercrossings to view the virtual meeting, complete the survey online, and sign up for updates.

Lane closures on the US-12 Clearwater Memorial Bridge

Clearwater Memorial Bridge

LEWISTON – Construction on the Clearwater Memorial Bridge will begin on Monday, September 18, and will close two lanes, leaving just one lane open in each direction.

Work over the next two years will widen the lanes, shoulders and sidewalks. Repairs will also bring the bridge up to current weight-rating standards to allow vehicles with heavier and wider loads to safely cross the bridge.

Starting on Monday only the sidewalk on the east side of the bridge will remain open. In early October, both sidewalks on the bridge will then be closed for eight months.

While both sidewalks are closed, a 24/7 shuttle will be available to transport pedestrians and bicyclists from one end of the bridge to the other. Shuttle users can access services at Locomotive Park or Liberty Mart North.

Click here to download additional information on the shuttle.

Travelers are encouraged to use other routes or leave extra time in their commute when congestion may be at its highest.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we enter the construction phase,” Resident Engineer Curtis Arnzen said. “Having a wider, stronger bridge will enhance safety, functionality, and economic opportunity in the region.”

For more information about the project, please visit itdprojects.org/us12memorialbridge/.

Reminder: Open house for US-12 Clearwater Memorial Bridge will be held September 12

Clearwater Memorial Bridge Improvements Open House

LEWISTON — As a reminder, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will host an open house for the community to learn more about the U.S. Highway 12 Clearwater Memorial Bridge improvements on Tuesday, September 12 from 2- 7 p.m. PST at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming deck construction beginning in mid-September.

ITD will share renderings of the bridge improvements and have staff on hand to expand on impacts to the traveling public. The department’s goal is to safely accommodate drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclist during construction.

View one of the renderings.

For more information about the project please visit itdprojects.org/us12memorialbridge.

Plaza access changes on US-95 Aht’Wy Interchange begin September 14

Construction area near the Aht'Wy Interchange Project on U.S. Highway 95

LEWISTON — Beginning September 14, motorists should expect a new traffic pattern affecting access to the Clearwater River Casino & Lodge at the Aht’Wy Interchange project on U.S. Highway 95.

Motorists can anticipate the following traffic pattern changes:

  • East Entrance: This access point will be closed. A temporary east entrance will be available nearby and closer to the casino. Access to and from the temporary east entrance will be open for both directions of travel on US-95.
  • West Entrance: Drivers heading southbound on US-95 will not be able to access the plaza at the west entrance. However, this entrance will be accessible for travelers on northbound US-95 to and from the plaza.

To see a revised graphic for access to and from the plaza, please reference this new handout.

Travelers can continue to expect single lanes in each direction and the speed limit remains lowered for safety. As always, please be mindful of construction workers working near the roadway.

Updates on the Aht’Wy Interchange Project can be found by visiting https://itdprojects.org/projects/ahtwyinterchange/.

Download a photo of the work zone.

To get continual updates about weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions, road closures, and other travel information please visit 511.idaho.gov, download the free Idaho 511 mobile app or dial 511 on your phone.

Open house for US-12 Clearwater Memorial Bridge rescheduled

Clearwater Memorial Bridge Improvements Open House

LEWISTON — A new date for the U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge Open House has been selected. The informal meeting will now be held be on Tuesday, September 12th from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. PST at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel. All members from the public and the surrounding community are invited.

Next month ITD will share renderings of the bridge improvements and have staff on hand to answer questions. The department will also share plans to accommodate drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists during the first phase of construction.

View one of the renderings.

For more information about the project please visit itdprojects.org/us12memorialbridge

Delays anticipated on U.S. Highway 12 Dike Bypass for railroad track removal

Railroad track removal on U.S. Highway 12 Dike Bypass in Lewiston

LEWISTON – Motorists should anticipate delays on U.S. Highway 12 Dike Bypass beginning Monday, July 24 as contractors are scheduled to remove railroad tracks by the levee that cross US-12. The tracks are no longer operational, and the remaining sections will therefore be removed. Work should be completed by late August.

The old tracks will be extracted at three locations:

  • D Street at Sonoco
  • East side of the Blue Bridge along Snake River Avenue to Dike Bypass Loop
  • Crossing on Snake River Avenue at H Street.

Parts of D Street and the section of Snake River Avenue between Main Street and the Dike Bypass (near the Blue Bridge) will be temporarily closed during construction. Traffic delays, detours and lane shifts should be anticipated during the day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all locations.

Railroad tracks, signals and gates are planned for removal on US-12 near the east of end of the Blue Bridge. The structures and track are anticipated to be dismantled during a series of night closures starting August 7 and completed by August 11 from 9 pm to 5 am to lessen the impact to the traveling public. Motorists can expect detours using Southway Bridge and/or Red Wolf Bridge.

Pedestrian detours will be in place as crews extend the sidewalk and remove curbs. Remaining gaps in the pavement will be filled and resurfaced near the Blue Bridge where the sidewalk and curb connect. These enhancements will result in improved traveling surfaces for both pedestrians and motor vehicles.

We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation during this important infrastructure improvement project.

To receive continual updates about weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions, road closures, and other travel please visit Idaho 511. Access it 24/7 on the web at http://511.idaho.gov, by downloading the free mobile app or by dialing 511 on your phone.

U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge construction to begin soon

U.S. Highway 12 Memorial Bridge Construction

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will begin construction to replace the superstructure of the Clearwater Memorial Bridge starting this summer and continuing up to two years. The project will enhance safety, functionality and economic opportunity in the region. Constructed in 1951, some components of the Clearwater Memorial Bridge are nearing the end of their service life.

In water work will commence mid-July and consist of placing riprap. This will prevent erosion of the riverbed around the bridge foundations. Crews will be working from barges for this construction phase. We anticipate this work 5 days a week; 7AM – 5:30 P.M. and completing around early September.

Because the work is being completed from barges, the vehicle traffic across the bridge will not be affected during this stage. Boating traffic on the river may be affected during working hours and vessels are encouraged to proceed with care around the buoys.

Future improvements will include building a new bridge deck with wider lanes, shoulders and sidewalks. The existing piers and girders that support the bridge deck can be retained. The new bridge will improve the load rating of the bridge and bring it up to current load-rating standards.

Work on the bridge is currently scheduled to begin on August 15, 2023 at which time all traffic will be shifted from four lanes to the western two lanes.  Pedestrian access across the bridge will not be allowed for the first phase of bridge construction, which is expected to last about 10 months. During this time a shuttle will bring pedestrian traffic including bicyclists from one end of the bridge to the other. ITD expects increased traffic congestion during construction and encourages motorists to search for alternative routes that do not use the Clearwater Memorial Bridge.

The public is invited to an informal open house at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel on Tuesday, August 8 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. PST to learn more about this project. ITD will share plans to accommodate drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists during the next phase of construction closer to the date.

For more information about the project please visit https://itdprojects.org/projects/us12memorialbridge/

Idaho Transportation Department seeks feedback on draft seven-year transportation plan

ITIP D2 Crooks Hill US-95

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is seeking feedback on the just-released draft Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP). The 2024-2030 ITIP outlines the state’s transportation priorities and guides investment decisions for the next seven years. ITD encourages everyone to review the draft and provide comments from July 1-31.

Transportation projects included in the draft ITIP range from large-scale interstate improvements to smaller projects like the installation of a new guardrail. Projects are located throughout Idaho’s 44 counties and involve all modes of transportation. Project selection is determined through technical data, as well as input from local officials and residents.

To review the complete draft plan visit itd.idaho.gov/funding to view an interactive map that allows users to learn about projects in their local area as well as submit a comment through the portal.

  • The U.S. Highway 12 Greer to Kamiah project in Clearwater and Lewis Counties is slated for construction in 2026. The project will rehabilitate and resurface the existing roadway and make drainage improvements to improve the ride quality and extend the lifespan of the roadway.
  • Another project will consist of improving the geometry of the roadway and extending the existing truck climbing lanes at the crest of Crooks Hill on U.S. Highway 95. It is located north of Moscow from milepost 354.60 to milepost 357.15 on US-95 just north of the US-95 and SH-66 junction. This project is slated for construction in 2029 and it will improve safety and enhance the mobility of the traveling public.
  • The Rapid River Bridge to Riggins project on U.S. Highway 95 will entail curve improvements for ride quality and a minor widening to accommodate the installation of shoulder barriers for improved safety. Construction is slated for 2029 and the site will be located south of Riggins on US-95 from MP 191.17 to 194.36.

Comments will be taken from July 1-31 and can be e-mailed to itipcomments@itd.idaho.gov or mailed to:

ITIP – Comments
Attn: Office of Communication
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID  83707

Paper copies of the ITIP will be provided upon request by contacting the Idaho Transportation Department (208) 334-8119.

All comments will be reviewed and incorporated into the ITIP where appropriate. Responses will be sent in September once the comment period has ended.

After approval by the Idaho Transportation Board in September, the ITIP will then be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency in October. Once finalized, ITD staff across the state will begin scoping new projects. Public input is crucial in ensuring that the ITIP reflects the needs and desires of Idaho’s communities.

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Maintenance work begins on US-95 in Culdesac Canyon

A photo of US-95 in Culdesac Canyon

CULDESAC— Drivers can expect general maintenance work to begin this week on U.S. Highway 95 between Culdesac and Winchester to preserve the roadway for safety. Maintenance work will take place between mileposts 283 – 286 in the work zone that was set up last year to construct a southbound passing lane.

Repairs this season will focus on improving the surface of the highway by filling in potholes and resurfacing sections of pavement that deteriorated over the winter. Lanes have already been repainted and the speed limit has been reposted to 65 miles per hour.

Primary construction for the project remains on hold while the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) resolves challenges with environmental resources. ITD continues to closely coordinate with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Nez Perce Tribe so that the endangered fish will be better protected when work resumes. Another update will be sent when project work is expected to resume.

“ITD will continue to keep the highway operational in the old work zone and will update travelers when work resumes,” Operations Manager Jared Hopkins said.

Download a photo of US-95 in Culdesac Canyon.

This project is part of a corridor-wide plan to finish building an 11-mile passing lane in Culdesac Canyon to provide safer opportunities for southbound drivers to pass.