Community invited to review options to improve State Highway 16 between Sh-44 and SH-52

Freezeout Hill

The Idaho Transportation Department is holding a public meeting on Monday, December 4 in Ada County and Wednesday, December 6 in Gem County. The community is invited to learn about the project, give input on issues and concerns, and provide feedback on a range of plans to improve SH-16.

Details for the in-person meetings are listed below:

  • Monday, December 4 at Eagle Christian Church (100 S Short Rd, Eagle, ID 83616)
  • Wednesday, December 6 at Emmett High School (721 W 12th St, Emmett, ID 83617)
  • 4:30 – 7 p.m. (drop in anytime)
  • Please join at whichever location is most convenient for you.

An online meeting will be available for those that are not able to attend the in-person meetings. The online meeting will be open from December 7 – 21 at

At the meetings, ITD will share details about:

  • The purpose and need for the environmental reevaluation.
  • Updated traffic and crash data information.
  • Modification to the 2005 preferred alternative.
  • The project timeline and next steps in the process.

“We look forward to sharing the range of modified improvement plans with the community and receiving their feedback,” said ITD Project Manager Mark Wasdahl. “Their input is very important to the reevaluation process and will help us moving forward.”

The SH-16, SH-44 to SH-52 project began in June 2023 and is expected to be complete in 2025. ITD has already met with numerous state and local agencies and property owners to identify concerns, discuss ongoing planning efforts and share information about the project.

To sign up for email updates or learn more about the project, please visit


Jason Brinkman selected as new ITD Division Administrator District 3 Engineer

Jason Brinkman has been named the new District 3 Engineer by Director Stokes, rising to the top from among a strong group of candidates for the position. Brinkman has been part of the district management team as the Engineering Manager for Design & Construction since 2016. Previously he also served in statewide roles for the GARVEE bond program and Highways project delivery.  Brinkman replaces former District Engineer Caleb Lakey, who left ITD for the private sector in October.

Brinkman started with ITD in 2000 and spent his first few years in the department’s Engineer-in-Training program.  He also has prior experience working for residential construction and utility companies, and his father’s land surveying firm.  Brinkman has been a leader in project management, design, construction, maintenance and traffic operations, legal coordination, contract negotiations, large-scale program management, environmental, bridge delivery, and right of way solutions.  His over two decades with ITD have led to comprehensive understanding of agency governance, local partnerships, policies, district operations, customer service, and ITD strategic goals.

“With more than 25 years of experience, Jason Brinkman brings both field engineering and district management teamwork expertise on complex issues that will serve ITD employees and local partners well as District 3 Engineer,” said ITD Chief Deputy/Chief Operations Officer Dan McElhinney. “We appreciate his leadership and commitment to safety, innovation, and helping make ITD a great place to work.”

Brinkman, a native of Watertown, South Dakota, earned his Civil Engineering degree from North Dakota State University in 1999 and his Idaho Professional Engineer license in 2004. Jason lives in Boise with his wife Jill, also a professional engineer, and their two children.  When not practicing engineering, they enjoy rafting, hiking, biking, baseball/softball, and other outdoor pursuits.

Transportation excellence is a goal for Brinkman, who said of his new role, “I look forward to continuing to work with our many great partners and stakeholders as we maintain and improve our highways and bridges for all Idahoans.  We have exceptional District 3 employees, contractors, and consultants that it will be an honor to team with as district engineer to provide the safe and efficient transportation system we all rely on daily.”

ITD brings state Christmas tree to Idaho’s Capitol on Monday

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) delivered Idaho’s state Christmas tree to the steps of the Capitol on Monday morning.

This year’s tree, which is always a blue spruce, stands at approximately 45 feet tall and will be cut down to around 35 feet tall before it is decorated with 11,000 LED lights.

The Boise Police Department will provide traffic control, and the Idaho Department of Lands will cut the tree down. The tree will be held upright by a crane until it is laid down on ITD’s 50-foot transport truck and from there taken to the Capitol. The tree will then be lowered into a 9-foot-hole that is designed for this very occasion.

ITD has been safely transporting Idaho’s Christmas tree for more than 20 years.

“We are honored to be part of a tradition that brings so much joy to Idahoans. We look forward to it every year,” Foreman Travis Dodd said.

This year and next year will be especially short trips for ITD as the trees will be harvested from behind the Capitol within the 600 block of West State Street. The Capitol administration team keeps a list of all the eligible trees people around the area want to donate, and in August the state’s Christmas tree is selected from that list. Last year’s tree came from Harrison Boulevard.

If you are headed to the mountains to get your own Christmas tree,  ITD wants to remind you to be prepared by having an emergency kit in your car that includes:

  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Kitty litter
  • Chains
  • Small shovel
  • First aid kit
  • Food and water
  • Small sleeping bag or blanket, winter coat, gloves, waterproof boots
  • Ice scraper
  • Phone charger.

Before any winter travel, drivers should use or the Idaho 511 app to check road conditions, cameras, and weather reports before heading out to cut down a Christmas tree.

ITD truck & trailer for transporting the tree
The Christmas tree will be put on this transporter truck and then delivered to the Capitol.

Veteran and ITD employee continues to help those in need

Navy Veteran and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) worker Shawn Denham continues to answer the call of duty; it just looks different these days. Denham is part of ITD’s Incident Response team, a two-person team that aids motorists broken down on Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley.

The day-to-day mission has no doubt changed since Denham’s five years with the Navy. Denham can now be found jump-starting vehicles, refilling a radiator, changing tires, and providing gas to those stranded along I-84. On average he drives 150 to 200 miles each day looking for motorists in need of help.

ITD’s Incident Response team began in 1997. Since that time crews have responded to well over 100,000 traffic incidents and are often the first on the scene at collisions.

Any incident that clogs the roadway has potential to create secondary crashes, which is why ITD’s Incident Response team is cruising the interstate Monday through Friday. For each minute a crash is not cleared, the chances of a secondary crash increase about three percent.

There is also significant economic benefit to the team. It’s been estimated that in Southwest Idaho, a half-hour delay in an urban setting can equate to $30,000 in lost work productivity.

Eleven percent of ITD’s workforce is made up of veterans. In total, there are 164 veterans at ITD including 12 women and 152 men. The Idaho Transportation Department wants to thank all veterans of the United States Armed Forces for their service.

ITD avalanche team back in Lowman as they prepare for El Niño season and new challenges

SH-21 Avalanche area southern gate

The Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) avalanche team is back in Lowman as they prepare for another season and new challenges. Every winter the team monitors conditions to close roads when necessary for the safety of travelers and maintenance crews.

The four-person team has more than 70 years of combined experience. The team is stationed in Lowman, 20 miles from an avalanche-prone section of State Highway 21 that spans eleven miles from Grandjean to Banner Summit. The team also closely monitors U.S. Highway 12 near the Montana border.

According to avalanche team leader, Bill Nicholson, there are more avalanche paths now than when he started over a decade ago. A wildfire burn scar has changed the landscape.

“When I first got here there were 62 avalanche paths, but on one side of the canyon there was a forest fire. All the trees are now gone. There are not any anchors in there anymore. This area that was not even considered a problem has now become one of our biggest problems. We have around 70 avalanche paths now,” Nicholson said.

SH-21 avalanche-prone sectionAnother difference this winter brings is El Niño. The National Weather Service predicts a milder winter, but Nicholson says less snowpack can sometimes make it even more difficult. He says nothing is the same year to year, so they will use their experience and tools to examine the snowpack like they would any other year. The team relies on specialized weather reports from the National Weather Service, as well as mini weather stations that have been placed in risky areas.

There are only three highways in the United States that fall under the ‘High’ category in the Avalanche Hazard Index: SH-21 in Lowman, State Highway 210 in Utah, and U.S. Highway 550 in Colorado.

ITD and Boise Hawks join forces for Baseball-O-Ween

Hawks Baseball-O-Ween Event

The Boise Hawks, along with the Idaho Transportation Department and Cumulus Radio, have announced the return of Baseball-o-ween at Memorial Stadium for Friday, October 27 – starting at 6 PM and ending with a fireworks show at 7:50 PM.

“We are very excited to partner with the Idaho Transportation Department and Cumulus Radio Group to bring back this awesome event to Memorial Stadium. After another record-breaking season at the Hawks, we think Baseball-o-ween is the perfect fun and safe event to cap off the 2023 season. We’ve picked the best two partners for this event, and cannot wait to invite everyone out.” – Mike Van Hise, Boise Hawks Vice President

“We are excited for a night of fun and fireworks at Hawks Stadium, and for the opportunity to engage with families and the community about safe driving and keeping trick-or-treaters safe ahead of Halloween.”  Josephine Middleton, Highway Safety Manager with ITD

“We greatly appreciate our promotional partnership with the Boise Hawks and we are excited to partner with the Idaho Transportation Department to present a great safe community event like Baseball-o-ween” – Don Morin, Market Manager for Cumulus Radio, LLC

This free, open-to-the-public, event will begin at 6:00 PM with a “Trunk or Treat” in the Memorial Stadium parking lot, featuring multiple community partners. Fans can then enter Memorial Stadium for a limited concession menu before the fireworks show begins at 7:50 PM. All are encouraged to come dressed in their best costumes as Hawks staff will be on site handing out prizes.

More info:

A study to reevaluate SH-16 between SH-44 in Ada County and SH-52 in Gem County is underway

Freezeout Hill

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has started the process of reevaluating an environmental assessment of State Highway 16 (SH-16) first completed in 2005. While holding to an approved highway alignment from the 2005 study, other features such as roadway connections and highway capacity will be reevaluated to address the needs of growth through the year 2050.

An increase in population, development and number of crashes in the area, along with other SH-16 highway improvements currently under construction has made updating the environmental assessment necessary for the design and potential construction of improvements. Between 2017 and 2021, 263 total crashes occurred in the corridor, eight of which included fatalities. Crashes went up by 89%, where traffic only increased by 27%.

The reevaluation will gather updated information about traffic volumes and impacts to environmental resources. In addition, ITD will develop a range of potential improvement plans as part of the reevaluation process.

“State Highway 16 is a key transportation corridor in the central Treasure Valley,” said ITD Project Manager Mark Wasdahl. “This environmental document is the next, important step toward addressing long-term safety and traffic capacity. We will be asking for the community’s feedback at several points in this process.”

The environmental reevaluation began in June 2023 and is expected to be complete in 2025. ITD is working with key stakeholders and numerous state and local agencies to gather ideas and input, identify issues and concerns and maintain interagency coordination throughout the process. ITD will also hold several public meetings for the community to learn about the project and provide feedback on potential improvement plans. The first public meeting for community members to provide input on the project is expected to occur in December 2023.

Read more about the project here. 

Plow conversion begins as ITD prepares for winter

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is busy preparing for the upcoming winter by converting their trucks back into snowplows.

In higher elevations snowplow conversions will be completed by the first week of November. In Boise the plows are typically ready to go by the end of November. The conversion process can take up to four hours per truck.

ITD’s trucks serve a purpose all year long. During the summer they are used as dump trucks, and during the winter they are plows. Once the fleet is completely changed over, there will be 86 snowplows working the roads throughout Southwest Idaho.

As ITD makes sure their trucks are in good working order for the onset of winter, ITD reminds all drivers to check their tires and have their vehicles serviced before weather conditions change.

Nighttime I-84 closures will begin Sunday (Oct. 15) in Nampa for SH-16 construction

The Idaho Transportation Department advises motorists to plan ahead for nighttime Interstate 84 closures starting this Sunday (Oct. 15) between the Garrity (Exit 38) and Ten Mile (Exit 42) interchanges. Crews are preparing the interstate for the next stage of construction at the future State Highway 16/I-84 interchange.

A full westbound closure and several nights of multiple lane closures on westbound I-84 will take place in the following weeks.

Oct. 15:

  • Westbound I-84 will be closed between Garrity (Exit 38) and Ten Mile (Exit 42) interchanges from 10 p.m. (Oct. 15) to 5 a.m. Monday (Oct. 16). Motorists will be detoured to Franklin Road. View the detour map.

Oct. 11-24:

  • Two of four lanes on westbound I-84 will close beginning Wednesday (Oct. 11) between the Garrity (Exit 38) and Ten Mile (Exit 42) interchanges. Work will occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph at night.

Eastbound I-84 closures will be scheduled later this month.

During the closures, crews will shift and re-stripe the I-84 travel lanes away from the center median. The shift will make room to build a center pier supporting the new I-84/SH-16 interchange. All work is weather dependent as striping can be less effective during cold nighttime temperatures. To request updates text HIGHWAY16 to 1-866-483-8422.

ITD wants to remind you to slow down, pay attention and drive engaged.

For more information about the State Highway 16 project visit You can also contact ITD at and (208) 334-8008.

Expect slowdowns on I-84 near Simco Road Interchange for the next couple weeks

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is asking drivers to plan ahead and expect slowdowns when traveling westbound on I-84 near the Simco Road Interchange as construction continues in the area.

Only one lane remains open for westbound travelers near the interchange as crews improve the westbound on- and off-ramps. This reduction in lanes will be in place until October 16.

Drivers on I-84 will be slowed to 65 mph, and traffic looking to cross the freeway via Simco Road will be detoured.

ITD is taking several steps to keep traffic flowing during the closure. Signs are up eight miles ahead of the work zone, and semitrucks will be directed to change lanes earlier. To encourage drivers to follow the posted speed limit, feedback signs are in place, and law enforcement will be conducting patrols in the area.

The department wants to remind drivers to have patience when traveling through the area, slow down, and obey all posted signs.

Construction on this project began in July to rebuild the bridge over I-84, which was built in 1959. Work is expected to be complete next summer.
Travelers are reminded to know before they go and check for traffic impacts.