Update: I-84 closed overnight June 10, 11 and 12 for girder placement at Karcher Overpass

Karcher Overpass bridge under construction

UPDATE (June 11)

I-84 detours in Nampa have been extended due to equipment-related delays during the Karcher Overpass girder placement. A detour will be in place Tuesday and Wednesday nights (June 11 and 12) between the Karcher/Midland and Northside Boulevard interchanges.

  • Eastbound I-84 will be closed overnight Tuesday, June 11.  A detour will begin at 10 p.m. Tuesday and end at 5 a.m. Wednesday, June 12.
  • Westbound I-84 will be closed overnight Wednesday, June 12. A detour will begin at 10 p.m. Wednesday and end at 6 a.m. Thursday, June 13.

Original Story (June 4)

ITD will require overnight closures on Interstate 84 in Nampa next Tuesday and Wednesday nights (June 10 and 11) to place girders on the new Karcher Road Overpass.

  • Eastbound I-84 will be closed overnight Monday, June 10. A detour will begin at 10 p.m. Monday and end at 5 a.m. Tuesday, June 11.
  • Westbound I-84 will be closed overnight Tuesday, June 11. A detour will begin at 10 p.m. Tuesday and end at 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 12.

Motorists will follow a detour route on Karcher Road both nights. See detour map below.

Detour map of I-84 in Nampa

“ITD will place 10 steel girders over the two nights. Each girder is 136 feet long and weighs approximately 115,670 pounds,” said Alex Deduck, ITD Design/Construction Engineer.  “This is no small operation and we appreciate the patience of the traveling public during the detour.”

ITD is replacing the Karcher Overpass to accommodate additional lanes on I-84. Construction to widen I-84 will begin later this summer.

For more information, visit itdprojects.org/84Corridor, text 84CORRIDOR to 22828 or listen to “Drive Idaho,” ITD’s new podcast series on I-84. Drive Idaho is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other major podcast players.

Memorial Day Travel Advisory for Treasure Valley residents

Traffic Congestion Generic

Memorial Day weekend is nearly upon us, and ITD is issuing the follow travel advisory to inform those planning to drive from the Boise area of conditions on and along the area highways.

Construction Impacts

Interstate 84

There are two projects active on I-84 to the east and west of the Boise area.

Bridge rehabilitation on the bridge over Purple Sage Road west of Caldwell has reduced the Interstate to a single lane in each direction. Speed limits are reduced and motorists should anticipate delays.

Pavement rehabilitation and construction of a third westbound lane are active east of Mountain Home. Motorists will be channeled into a single lane and speed limits are reduced.

U.S. 95

There are two construction projects that will have active impacts over the weekend. Both are bridge replacements that currently have only one travel lane. The first project is located approx. 10 miles north of Council. The second is the Little Rainbow Bridge, approx. 13 miles north of New Meadows. Both construction zones are controlled by temporary signals. Motorists should anticipate delays on this route.

Idaho Highway 55

One active project on ID-55 is the repavement of the highway south of Smiths Ferry. Work will be suspended starting Friday, May 24 and not resume until Tuesday, May 28. Motorists should use caution in the area and obey traffic signs. There will be uneven surfaces as the project remains partially constructed.

Another project on ID-55 in Canyon County is the bridge and road reconstruction in Marsing. Construction impacts will remain active over the weekend. Travel will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Motorists should expect delays in the area.

Travel Conditions

Prolonged rainfall and cooler temperatures mean the mountains are saturated. This increases the risk of rockfall and mudslides. Motorists should be aware of the possibility of hazards on the road and drive with caution. Remember to remove distractions and Drive Well, focusing on the important task of engaged driving.

Congestion is common on these mountain highways during summer holidays. In particular, the intersection of ID-55 and Banks-Lowman Road sees heavy traffic. To mitigate this increase, ITD will flag this intersection on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

ITD is encouraging vehicles traveling from the Sun Valley region to the Boise area consider alternate routes or travel outside the busiest times (noon to early evening) to avoid delays at the intersection of ID-55 and Banks-Lowman Rd.

Be sure to check 511 before leaving to see the latest road conditions and impacts. You can call, visit the website, or download the app for Apple or Android devices.

Adopt-A-Highway volunteers find treasures among the trash

Gretchen Sherlin holds a $100 bill, found while collecting litter along ID-20

Overlooked and underappreciated, those that collect trash along Idaho’s highways give more than they receive. But among the discarded plastic, paper, and aluminum Adopt-A-Highway volunteers Mike Harkins and Gretchen Sherlin have found their own reward.

The couple moved to Mountain Home two years ago, and soon began their charity. Clad in orange and wielding pokers, they picked their way along miles of desert. U.S. Highway 20 is a hot spot.

Mike Harkins stands beneath the Adopt-A-Highway sign with his and Gretchen's name
Mike Harkins stands beneath the Adopt-A-Highway sign with his and Gretchen’s name

Day by day, the faithful pair collected what would soon become a mountain of trash.

“We decided to start counting the number of cans we collected,” said Gretchen. “After one year, we have picked up 18,666.”

Their affinity for detail is the benefit to the community. Mike and Gretchen have recycled those cans, taking the time to remove the tabs and donate them to the Ronald McDonald House in Boise.

The cleanup does more than beautify the land. Besides the broken glass, twine, and disposable diapers, discarded items open up mysteries of personal stories.

“We’ve found cell phones, a laptop computer, a hide-a-bed,” said Gretchen. “We even found a certificate and plaque for a military person’s achievements.”

The couple also stumbles on their fair share of action.

“This past spring we were picking up trash along a rural road,” said Gretchen. “We noticed a herd of cattle and there was a cow frantically running back and forth, calling for her calf that was outside the fence. Realizing the drama unfolding before us, I herded the little calf about 1/4 mile on foot to a gate that my husband had opened, reuniting the little calf with its mother.”

The driving force for Mike and Gretchen is to improve the land and “giving the critters that live in the desert a cleaner habitat.”

It seems all that good karma pays off. While making the rounds, movement caught Gretchen’s eye. It was a piece of paper. Stooping down to pick up the piece of trash, as she’s done thousands of times before, Gretchen discovered this was no mere cast-off but a $100 bill, it’s previous owner nowhere in sight.

Was it a coincidence? A thank you from Mother Earth? Perhaps we’ll never know, but that piece of paper put a spring in Mike and Gretchen’s step as they collect a thousand more.

Interested in joining the Adopt-A-Highway program? Contact ITD at (208) 334-8000 or visit us online at www.itd.idaho.gov/road-mtce/?target=volunteer-activities.

I-84 will be detoured overnight May 22-23 for utility work

A line of power poles ready for electrical wires

Interstate 84 will be closed between the Karcher/Midland and Northside interchanges from 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 22 to 5 a.m. Thursday, May 23 to remove power lines above the highway.

A detour route will be in place. Motorists will exit I-84 at the interchanges and follow a detour along Karcher Road. Flaggers will direct traffic. Detour map below.

I-84 detour map for may 22, 2109

The power lines are being removed in preparation of ITD’s plans to begin widening I-84 in this area. The closures will be rescheduled in the case of inclement weather.

For more information, visit itdprojects.org/84Corridor. To receive construction updates; text 84corridor to 22828. Drive Idaho, ITD’s new podcast series on all things I-84 in Canyon County, is available for download on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music and other major podcast sharing sites.

I-84 will be detoured overnight April 22-26 for Idaho Power transmission line work in Caldwell

A power pole without a line

Interstate 84 will be closed at night between the Franklin Road and Karcher/Midland interchanges April 22-26 while Idaho Power installs a new transmission line across the interstate. A detour will be in place each night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The detour route will follow Franklin Road (US-20/26) and Midland Road. Please plan ahead and expect delays when traveling in the area. Flaggers will direct traffic.

Idaho Power is installing a new transmission line across I-84. The transmission line will serve the new Skyway Ranch Substation east of the Franklin Road Interchange.

Detour map for I-84 overnight closures
Detour map for I-84 overnight closures April 22-26, 2019

Traffic reduced over Snake River Bridge in Marsing

A crane looms over a bridge

The Snake River Bridge will be reduced to one lane beginning Tuesday, April 9 in preparation for rebuilding the bridge.

What to expect at the Snake River Bridge:

  • Temporary traffic signals will be placed on both sides of the bridge to direct traffic.
  • Motorists should expect delays of up to 15 minutes.
  • The speed limit on the bridge will be reduced from 35 mph. to 25 mph.

The lane and the speed reductions on the Snake River Bridge will remain in effect until the bridge rebuild is complete. ITD will begin reconstructing the north side of ID-55 on April 9. Traffic will be switched to the south side of ID-55 in downtown Marsing while crews begin to reconstruct the north side of ID-55.

What to expect on ID-55:

  • Work will occur between 4th Avenue and Riverfront.
  • Work will occur during daytime hours.
  • Temporary traffic signals will direct traffic. Expect delays of up to 15 minutes.
  • Driveway access will remain open with brief delays.

Pedestrians are encouraged to use the south side of ID-55.

Flooding in Central Mountains creates hazards, motorists urged to use caution

Flooding on ID-55 near New Meadows

Flooding from spring runoff is causing water to run or pool on top of U.S Highway 95 and Idaho Highway 55 throughout the Central Mountains. The Idaho Transportation Department is urging motorists approaching these hazards to use caution.

Flooding on ID-55 south of Cascade
Flooding on ID-55 south of Cascade

Heavy rain and melting snow is causing isolated hazards in the Weiser, Payette, and Salmon Drainages. This includes the cities of Weiser, Council, New Meadows, McCall and Cascade. Hazards created by flooding may be pooling, erosion, mudslides, rockfall, and water running over the top of roadways. ITD crews are out in force mitigating these hazards with warning signs and, where possible, cleaning up debris. The Department reminds motorists who come upon these hazards to exercise caution.

“In most areas, the water is only a couple inches deep,” said ITD Foreman in Council, Robin Freeman. “But hitting that water at 55 MPH can mess up your vehicle. I’ve had one car already hit a puddle at high speed. It killed the engine and the car is stuck in the middle of the road.”

ITD is asking motorists to drive well and stay engaged. Be on the look out for warning signs or flaggers and obey directions to safely navigate these hazards. For roadway conditions and hazard warnings, check 511 and know before you go.

ID-21: One park-n-ski access open, route to Stanley remains closed

LOWMAN – Idaho Transporation Department crews have cleared a section of Idaho Highway 21 from Idaho City to Mores Creek following significant snowfall. The section of ID-21 from Lowman to Stanley known as Canyon Creek remains closed.

A large avalanche hit ID-21 in 2017

In the last week, the area has received more than 5 feet of snow. Avalanche danger has prevented crews from working to clear the Canyon Creek section. Slides have hit the road and piled more than 50 feet of snow on top of the roadway. Additional crews are dispatched to assist efforts to clear these historic slides.

The segment between Idaho City and Lowman is a popular destination for winter recreationists, including park-n-ski locations accessing state-owned yurts. Crews have been blowing snow off the road moving south to north. Currently, the road is clear to Mores Creek park-n-ski. Access to the following park-n-ski locations remains closed (map).

  • Whoop Um Up
  • Gold Fork
  • Banner Ridge
  • Beaver Creek Summit

Crews will continue to work over the weekend to clear snow from the road. For updates, check 511 at 511.idaho.gov.

TRAVEL ADVISORY: Motorists urged to use caution on ID-55 between Banks and Cascade

BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Department is warning motorists to use caution on Idaho Highway 55 between Banks and Cascade due to rapidly deteriorating pavement.

Harsh winter weather has caused the pavement in this stretch to break up, leaving significant potholes and frost heaves. ITD maintenance crews have been working non-stop to fill potholes with a cold patch material, but inclement weather is causing new potholes to rapidly form and some patches to fail.

“Crews are out plowing snow and patching potholes around the clock,” said ITD Southwest District Maintenance Manager Michael Garz. “But it’s not doing the trick. Rain, snow, and temperature swings are popping out patches, leaving the road in rough shape.”

ITD has placed several warning signs on the road, urging drivers to use caution and reduce their speed. More signs are currently being deployed. Using alternate routes, such as U.S. 95 is strongly encouraged.

The Department has a project funded to repave this stretch of road this year. That work will begin as soon as weather allows this spring. For more information on the project, visit https://itdprojects.org/id55smithsferryrepave/

Innovative virtual public meeting allows Idahoans to comment on upcoming ID-55 project online

Smiths Ferry Featured

To maximize the public’s ability to provide input on upcoming construction, the Idaho Transportation Department is launching a virtual public meeting on proposed improvements for Idaho Highway 55 from Smiths Ferry to Round Valley.

You can view the project information and participate in the virtual public meeting by clicking here or visiting https://bit.ly/2BCNCzx.The Department will receive public comments until March 3. The online meeting tool allows visitors to interactively learn about the project and provide direct feedback to ITD.

The improvements will address existing safety concerns on the corridor by widening the road, adding ditches to catch rockfall and constructing shoulders and guardrail where appropriate. Additional work will improve wildlife habitat and passage under the roadway. The result will be a safer corridor with higher speed limits to improve mobility.

“This project will affect a diverse group of people from far and wide, including nearby residents and recreationists from around the region,” said ITD engineering manager Jason Brinkman. “This virtual public meeting allows us to effectively reach those groups and get their input to help us make well-informed decisions.”

Construction could begin as soon as the Fall of 2019. The work will require significant blasting and excavating of the hillsides adjacent to ID-55. To complete this work, regular closures of several hours will be enforced. ITD will conduct extensive public outreach to inform users of the highway about these impacts and work with them to mitigate the impacts of construction.