New landslide database provides tool for project development and hazard mitigation

The Idaho Geological Survey (IGS) is helping the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) learn more from landslides in the Gem State. A new statewide inventory database of landslide and rock fall hazards released by IGS in late June will assist ITD, emergency managers, and planners with forecasting and hazard mitigation by identifying problematic hot spots.

The project was sponsored by ITD’s Division of Highways – Construction and Materials team and funded through ITD’s Research Program.

The inventory contains more than 2,400 landslide entries spanning from prehistoric to active events. It’s posted on the IGS website and can be accessed through an interactive webmap service.

The information was also added to ITD’s IPLAN online ArcGIS platform. The database includes attributes to maintain MSE retaining wall locations and risk factors to evaluate the condition of the wall, as well as attributes for rock fall risk, so ITD districts can assess the problematic areas that could cause road closures.

Data were compiled from historic archives, information provided by ITD geotechnical staff and district geologists, unpublished IGS field observations, analysis of LiDAR imagery, remote sensing, satellite images, and newly mapped landslides.

“The study represents a live catalog of mass movements across the state with a particular focus on transportation corridors and urban areas,” said State Geologist and IGS Director Claudio Berti. “The database is a tool for documenting and assessing slope stability hazards. It is not intended to predict future events, but to document known events and show broad patterns of occurrence.”

This new database replaces the last inventory published in 1991, a static map no longer suitable for modern digital analyses. The 2021 version will be kept up to date as new events occur or new information becomes available.

Landslide problem areas in Idaho include: Bonners Ferry, Clearwater River Basin, Horseshoe Bend, Boise Foothills, Hagerman, U.S. 95 between Pollock and Lucile, and U.S. 26 between Swan Valley and the Wyoming border. Geologic characteristics of the bedrock, fractures, systems, precipitation, regional hydrogeology, vegetation, wildfires, and steepness of hillslopes are all contributing factors in landslide initiation and development.

You can also learn more by reading the full research report linked here.

Construction begins next week on Idaho Highway 75 in Hailey

Image of ID-75 (Main Street) in Hailey

On Sunday night (July 11), the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will begin phase two of the rehabilitation project on Idaho Highway 75 (Main Street) in Hailey between Fox Acres Road and Cobblestone Lane.

The first phase began in May with updates to pedestrian ramps and crossings to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The second phase of the project will rehabilitate the roadway and provide for a smoother driving surface through downtown Hailey.

“Work on the roadway is more dependent on warm weather than the pedestrian ramp updates,” ITD Project Manager Steve Hunter said. “Now that we are fully into summer, and temperatures are not as variable as in the spring, we can begin construction on the roadway.”

Through the remainder of summer, ITD will rehabilitate the highway by milling the old road surface and replacing it with new pavement. Improvements will also include new striping and pedestrian crossings.

Work will occur at night between the hours of 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. to reduce impacts to the traveling public and provide an opportunity for crews to work with minimal interruptions.

During working hours, traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction. During the day, two lanes will be open both northbound and southbound.

“Crews will use dust abatement methods to manage dust and dirt, but drivers should anticipate driving on a temporary gravel surface during construction activities,” explained Hunter.

In addition to milling and paving, vibratory rolling will also occur to compact the roadway. Vibration may be felt on nearby properties.

“We understand that the City of Hailey is a renowned tourist destination and we will be working closely with our crews to reduce impacts to the community as much as possible,” Hunter said.

Knife River is the primary contractor on this $3.4 million project

Idaho Transportation Department now taking comments for all upcoming projects

Cars cross Lake Pend Oreille on the Long Bridge

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is asking for input on the just-released draft Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP). The 2022-2028 ITIP is a seven-year master plan of the state’s transportation improvement projects. Everyone is encouraged to participate starting in July.

Projects can range from large-scale interstate improvements to smaller projects like the installation of a new guardrail. In all, the draft ITIP includes projects in all 44 counties and all modes of transportation. Projects were selected based on technical data, as well as input from local officials and residents.

A complete breakdown of the draft plan can be found at itd.idaho.gov/funding, as well as an interactive map that allows users to learn about projects by narrowing it down to specific categories and locations.

A few of the major projects throughout Idaho are:

  • Bridge replacement and adding a travel lane on west bound I-86 in Pocatello.
  • Interchange improvements to the I-15 Exit 113 interchange in Idaho Falls including constructing roundabouts.
  • Full road reconstruction on ID-33 from the US-20/ID-33 interchange to Newdale.
  • Replacement of the structure at the I-84/ID-50 Junction (Exit 182).
  • Replacement of Yankee Fork Bridge on ID-75 in Custer County.
  • Widening ID-44 from Star Road to Linder Road.
  • Extending ID-16 from US-20/26 to I-84.
  • Redesign of the interchange at I-90 and ID-41, with construction planned to start in 2023.
  • Study to begin this fall to examine potential expansion of US-95 to four lanes from Moscow to north of the Mineral Mountain Rest Area.

Comments will be taken from July 1-31 and can be e-mailed to ITDcommunication@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, incorporated into the ITIP where appropriate, and 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.

 

 

I-84 overpasses in Minidoka County to close for three weeks in July and August

Two bridges over Interstate 84 near Heyburn will each close for approximately three weeks in July and August so that they can be resurfaced.

The first overpass at 500 West Road is expected to close next Tuesday (July 6), with traffic detoured to the interchange at Idaho Highway 27.

After crews complete work on the first overpass, they will move onto the overpass at South Meridian Road and drivers will need to cross over the interstate at 200 West Road.

Closure of these overpasses will not occur at the same time.

View a map of the detours.

These repairs are part of a larger project that began in late April to resurface thirteen bridges and nine overpasses in the region. This work will help prolong the service life of the structures.

Most bridges will be kept partially open during construction, but completely closing these two allows the general contractor, Cannon Builders, to complete the work sooner.

“By not allowing traffic on these two structures, we’re reducing the overall cost of the project and the impact to travelers,” ITD project manager Bruce Christensen said.

Construction on all bridges is expected to be finished by October of this year. As work shifts from one bridge to another, traffic patterns will change. Check 511.idaho.gov to learn about impacts and timing for each bridge.

Night work to take place this week on ID-75 in Hailey

Image of ID-75 (Main Street) in Hailey

Overnight work is expected to occur this Thursday (July 1) on Idaho Highway 75 between Fox Acres Road and Airport Way in Hailey. During the hours of 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. crews will remove approximately 1,000 feet of asphalt in the center lane and replace it with new material.

This is part of pre-construction testing related to the Hailey Main Street Rehabilitation Project.

“While construction on the roadway is not scheduled to begin until July 12, we must test a portion of the roadway in advance of that work,” ITD Engineering Manager Seth Helms stated. “Testing will include examination of roadway materials as well as the procedures we will use when construction begins to help lessen the impact of operations from July 12 onward.”

Traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction while work is underway.

During the compaction stage, ground vibration may be felt in the work zone and immediate surrounding area. Unsecured items may shift during this process.

Motorists are advised to slow down and watch for crew members and heavy equipment while work is underway.

Work on Interstate 84 in Jerome County to begin next week

Image of I-84 eastbound lanes in Jerome County

Next Tuesday (June 29), crews are expected to sealcoat approximately two miles of Interstate 84 east of Hazelton from milepost 194 to 196.

Only the westbound lanes will be addressed with this project, and traffic in that direction will be reduced to a single lane while work is underway.

“This project should move quickly and is not expected to last for more than two days,” Project Manager Sam Purser said.

Sealcoating is a surface treatment to preserve and extend the lifetime of roadways. It also provides a skid-resistant surface for better traction. The process requires hot temperatures and dry weather for chips to properly adhere to oil that is deposited on the highway.

Chips placed during the sealcoating process have potential to cause windshield damage so drivers are cautioned to slow down and pay attention to reduced speeds and no passing zones throughout the work area.

ITD’s Freight Program seeks representatives to help shape freight’s future

Help shape Idaho’s freight future! The Idaho Transportation Department is seeking representatives to serve on the Freight Advisory Committee. The group is made of six members, one representing each of ITD’s administrative districts.

  • The individual selected for District 1 will represent Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties
  • The individual selected for District 2 will represent Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis, and Nez Perce counties
  • The individual selected for District 3 will represent Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Washington, and Valley counties
  • The individual selected for District 4 will Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, and Twin Falls counties
  • The individual selected for District 5 will represent Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, and Power counties
  • The individual selected for District 6 will represent Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Teton, and Madison counties

The Freight Advisory Committee (FAC) was created to advise ITD on issues related to freight transportation in Idaho. FAC members gather and speak on behalf of the following industries:

  • Rail, Highway/Trucking
  • Aeronautics
  • Port/Barge
  • Agriculture
  • Natural Resource
  • Manufacturing/Retail
  • Carrier/Shipping
  • Freight Logistics/Warehousing

Applications for FAC representatives in each of the six districts will be accepted June 21 – July 21, 2021. A 15-day public comment period on the candidates will then follow. Find the application form and instructions at itd.idaho.gov/freight under the Freight Program and Get Involved tabs, or also linked here.

For more information about FAC or the application, contact ITD Freight Program Manager Scott Luekenga at (208) 334-8057 or by email at scott.luekenga@itd.idaho.gov

Work on US-93 from the Nevada State Line to Hollister to begin next week

Image of Welcome to Idaho sign on US-93 at Nevada/Idaho border

On Monday, (June 21) a sealcoat project is expected to begin on US-93 in Twin Falls County. Over the coming weeks, approximately 27 miles from the Nevada State Line to Hollister will be addressed.

“This project will cover a substantial amount of highway but operations are expected to move fairly quickly,” Project Manager Kenny Lively stated. “We will begin work at the Nevada State Line and then proceed north on US-93 through Hollister.”

Sealcoating is a surface treatment to preserve and extend the lifetime of roadways. It also provides a skid-resistant surface for better traction. The process requires hot temperatures and dry weather for chips to properly adhere to oil that is deposited on the highway.

Work will require US-93 to be reduced to one lane while work is underway – Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Motorists should anticipate delays and watch for the presence of flaggers or pilot cars.

Chips placed during the sealcoating process have potential to cause windshield damage so drivers are cautioned to slow down and pay attention to reduced speeds and no passing zones throughout the work area.

Geneva Rock Products is the primary contractor on this $1.6 million project that is expected to be complete in July.

Two-week online discussion opens today for Idaho 75 project in Ketchum

Image of ID-75 in relation to the Elkhorn Road to River Street project

The Idaho Transportation Department invites community members to give input on concept design options to improve Idaho 75 from Elkhorn Road to River Street via an online discussion at itdprojects.org/idaho-75-elkhorn-road. The online discussion will be open from June 10 to June 24.

The online discussion includes short video presentations that will guide participants through each design option being considered through the project limits. Participants will have the opportunity to provide input and see comments from other community members.

The Idaho Transportation Department will also be hosting an in-person meeting at the Limelight Hotel in Ketchum on June 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The meeting will be in open house format. Individuals are invited to stop by at any time during the meeting and visit with project team members who will be on hand to discuss design options and answer questions.

Growth and development in recent years have resulted in increased congestion on Idaho 75. This project aims to address those issues, and will result in design plans for widening the highway between Elkhorn Road and River Street, rebuilding the Trail Creek Bridge and improving drainage and other infrastructure. This is the second outreach opportunity for community members to discuss this project.

“This portion of Idaho 75 is a vital link to the overall corridor and to the Wood River community,” ITD Project Manager Nathan Jerke stated. “We are following up on the comments received last year about the proposed improvements in an effort to meet community expectations and needs of the Idaho highway system.”

The in-person meeting will have two identical rooms set up to maximize participation. A limited number of people will be allowed in a room at once. Information covered at the in-person meeting will be identical to information presented in the online meeting.

Comments may be submitted via the website or by calling (208) 886-7809, emailing nathan.jerke@itd.idaho.gov or sending mail to the Idaho Transportation Department (216 S Date St., Shoshone, ID 83352) at the attention of Nathan Jerke.

Public invited to attend an open house next week for Idaho Highway 75 construction in Hailey

Image of ID-75 (Main Street) in Hailey

On Wednesday, June 16, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will host a public meeting for the Idaho Highway 75 Hailey Main Street Rehabilitation project. This is part of a larger project that began in May with updates to pedestrian ramps along Main Street (ID-75).

The open house will provide an opportunity for individuals to learn more about the second phase of the project, which begins in mid-July, and will involve work on the roadway.

The meeting will be held in open house format and members of the project team will be available to answer questions about upcoming construction and impacts. Individuals are invited to stop by anytime during the open house to view display boards and talk with the project team.

Date: June 16, 2021
Time: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Location: Hailey City Hall, 115 Main St. South, Hailey, ID

An online version of the meeting will be available for those unable to attend in-person. It will be accessible on June 17 via the project website: itdprojects.org/projects/id-75-hailey-main-street

For questions or comments before or after the public meeting, please call 208.608.6635 to speak with a member of the project team.