Early construction activities for US-20 interchanges in Rexburg

Rendering of the diverging diamond interchange planned for US-20 and SH-33 in Rexburg

UPDATE: Due to weather, the start date for this project has been shifted to later this month. Pay attention to signage near the work zone for the start of traffic impacts and visit itdprojects.idaho.gov/pages/us20rexburg to sign up for email updates.

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin early construction activities to replace two interchanges on U.S. Highway 20 in Rexburg. This summer the interchanges at University Boulevard (Exit 332) and State Highway 33 (Exit 333) will be rebuilt to be safer and more efficient.

Work this spring will include utility work and installing temporary traffic signals at Exit 333 to help with traffic flow during construction. Crews will also install permanent signals further north at the ramps for Salem Highway (Exit 337). Lane closures during these early activities will occur outside of peak traffic times as much as possible.

“Between March and June, we anticipate maintaining at least one lane of traffic in each direction on University Boulevard and SH-33,” Project Manager Conner Huffaker said.

Construction this summer will require each interchange to be fully closed, one at a time. Full closure of the interchange at University Boulevard is anticipated for the month of June. Full closure of the interchange at SH-33 is anticipated for the month of August. As one interchange is closed for construction, the other will remain open as a detour route. US-20 will remain open to through traffic throughout construction.

Crews anticipate that all work will be complete by late October.

When complete, both interchanges will be diverging diamond interchanges (DDIs). The DDI design was chosen after many years of analyzing technical data and working with the local community. Watch this video to learn how to drive through the new interchanges.

To sign up for construction updates, visit itdprojects.idaho.gov/pages/us20rexburg.

ITD will host an open house on April 2 at Madison High School from 4 to 6 p.m. to share construction plans and impacts with the community. More information will also be made available online at that time.

HK Contractors is the contractor for this $22 million project.

Nine ITD snowplows hit so far this winter season

Damaged rear of snowplow.

Winter weather has brought snowy driving conditions to much of Idaho. Unfortunately, the rise in snowy road conditions has also led to a sharp rise in snowplow strikes. Nine Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) plows have been hit so far this winter season. Five strikes happened over the last seven days.

Two of the most recent strikes happened this Wednesday in the Magic Valley, one on I-84 north of Twin Falls, and one on I-84 west of Wendell. Both involved a semi truck rear-ending a plow. The vehicles will be out of service for up to two weeks while they undergo repairs.

“It’s a major impact on maintenance sheds when equipment is taken out of service. We are limited on snowplows,” Jerome Foreman Brian Davidson said. “It makes it more difficult to keep roads clear.”

Another recent strike happened on Tuesday in Nampa. The plow was heading eastbound on I-84 near Karcher Road. A pickup pulling a trailer merged onto the interstate and lost control. The trailer swung out and hit the ITD vehicle’s wing plow. There was no lasting damage to the snowplow.

ITD wants to remind drivers how to be safe around snowplows.

  1. Do not pass a plow on the right. Plows have a 10-foot extendable wing plow on the right side that may be difficult to see in snowy conditions.
  2. Provide ample space for plows to work and steer clear of their blind spots. This also means increasing your following distance behind the plow.
  3. Practice patience and stay behind the plow for the safest road conditions.
  4. Plows often operate in pairs to clear multiple lanes; never position yourself between tandem plows.
  5. In case of a crash or if you need to stop on the side of the road, stay inside your vehicle for both your safety and that of our plow operators.

Last winter, there were 17 plow strikes, a number ITD does not want to repeat. Please be careful driving and mindful of our plows. Check 511.idaho.gov or the Idaho 511 App for road conditions before traveling. For more winter driving tips, visit itd.idaho.gov/travel.

*For real-time updates and photos of plow strikes, visit ITD’s Facebook or X pages. 

Winter weather forces road closures across the state

View from behind the plow of it pushing snow

Blizzard conditions across much of the state has caused the Idaho Transportation Department to close several routes.  

Current closures include:  

Southwest Idaho: 

  • State Highway 21 from Grandjean Junction to Banner Summit 
  • State Highway 21 from Idaho City to Lowman 

South-Central Idaho:  

  • U.S. Highway 93 from Jerome to Shoshone 
  • U.S. Highway 20 from Fairfield to Mountain Home 
  • U.S. Highway 30 from Hansen to Murtaugh 
  • State Highway 75 from Shoshone to Timmerman 
  • State Highway 46 from Gooding to Fairfield 

Southeast Idaho: 

  • State Highway 34 from Conda to Wyoming 
  • State Highway 36 from SH-34 to Ovid 

East Idaho: 

  • State Highway 47 from Ashton to Bear Gulch 
  • State Highway 32 from Tetonia to Ashton 
  • State Highway 33 from Newdale to Tetonia. Note that Teton Pass in Wyoming is also closed.  
  • U.S. Highway 26 from Ririe to Swan Valley 
  • State Highway 31 from Swan Valley to Victor  

Plows will be out in full force today and until the winter weather subsides. The department asks that those who do not need to travel stay home or time their trips around weather conditions.  

To share the road safely with plows, travelers are reminded to:  

  • Never pass a plow on the right.  
  • Give plows room to work by maintaining at least a three-second following distance.  
  • If multiple plows are working in tandem, do not attempt to move between them.  
  • Stay out of the blind spots.  
  • Drive for conditions.  
  • Allow extra time to travel.  

More closures could be possible as the system moves through the state. Road conditions are updated 24/7 at 511.idaho.gov. Drivers are reminded to know before they go and visit the website or check the 511 app before traveling.

Public invited to provide input on intersection improvements to US-26/ 45TH Ave. & 55TH Ave.

Map for Public Meeting Intersection Improvements

The Idaho Transportation Department is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16, for the community to learn more, ask questions and provide input about two upcoming intersection improvement projects.

The public meeting will share preliminary design plans for the intersections at US-26/ 45th & 55th. The meeting will be open-house format for the community to drop in between 5 and 7 p.m. at Thunder Ridge High School in the Lecture Hall at 4941 1st Street in Idaho Falls. Information about the process, goals, benefits, and timelines for the improvements 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. 16. The feedback survey to provide formal comment during this time is also available on the project website. It will be open through Nov. 30.

“Due to traffic increase and a rise in severe accidents, this area needs to be addressed. It is a main artery route for commuters from the east side of the state to the Idaho Falls center and access to I-15,” Project Manager Rachel Telford said. “We want this public meeting to be an opportunity for the community to be a part of helping us create safe solutions for the future.”

Join the project team at the public meeting or visit the website at https://itdprojects.idaho.gov/pages/intersection-improvments-45th-and-55th  to view the virtual meeting, complete the survey online, and sign up for updates.

Road repairs on US-20 west of Idaho Falls

Route for Mill and Inlay

Mill and Inlay project west of Idaho Falls

Road construction will commence on US-20 for approximately 13 miles from milepost 301 to milepost 288 west of Idaho Falls

Work will encompass repairing the right wheel path with a cold mill and inlay process. This project is to make repairs to the existing roadway and extend the lifespan of the highway.  

Road work will take place between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.  The project is expected to last approximately 2 weeks.  

Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds and traffic control with a pilot car to guide traffic through the work zone. Drivers are encouraged to watch for flaggers in the work zone. As construction continues, drivers should plan their commute accordingly. 

Please check 511.idaho.gov or the 511 app for the most recent information on road work.

East 1500 North Bridge over I-15 closed until further notice

Damaged girder on East 1500 North Bridge over I-15

The East 1500 North Bridge over Interstate 15 near Shelley will be closed until further notice. A vehicle travelling northbound on I-15 today struck the bridge causing significant damage to a girder. Traffic is currently detoured via South 45th West.

“We’ll have to keep the bridge closed until we can fully inspect the damage,” Operations Engineer Greydon Wright said. “Our bridge crew will come in to do the inspection and decide what work will need to be done to repair it.”

The incident also necessitated the closure of the right lane of northbound I-15 to allow crews to clean debris from the road and ensure the safety of the travelling public.

Travelers are reminded to know before they go and check 511.idaho.gov for traffic impacts.


ITD’s snow & ice team again best in nation!

Despite more competitors than ever before, the ITD maintenance team took home first-place honors at the Snow & Ice Conference and National Snow Roadeo for the second time in three years. They won it in 2021 and placed second nationally last year.

Winning the overall team award again in Colorado September 29 against 300 competitors from all across the country is impressive,” said ITD Chief Deputy and COO Dan McElhinney. “We are proud of our ITD maintenance roadeo team members for their commitment to skill excellence, work zone safety and representing Idaho as the best in the nation!”

The ITD team (pictured at right) featured Kyler Fullmer and Stacey McCurdy of District 6 (East Idaho), Jed Henderson of District 1 (North Idaho), and Brandon Steffens of District 5 (Southeast Idaho). These were also the top four finishers in the state roadeo competition held in July in Salmon, Idaho.

McCurdy, Henderson and Steffens were also on the team that won the national title in 2021.

“I would like to thank the participants,” said first-year roadeo coordinator Alan Huey. “They were proud to represent ITD and showcase the department’s commitment to safety and the skills that translate into service for Idaho’s drivers each winter.”

“The competition was tough, but the team delivered a top-notch performance.”

Each event featured loads of competitors — Single Axle had 53 participants, Grader had 58, Tandem Axle had 59, and Skid Steer had 69. The Loader event featured 100 participants!

“It’s great that we can come together as a team from all different districts to take first place again this year as an agency,” said D1’s Henderson, who made his third straight trip to nationals this year, and was also a part of ITD’s first title team in 2021. “Everyone performed so well, and I look forward to competing again next year.”

Henderson also expressed his appreciation to Kelley Dick, who is moving on from the roadeos next year after promoting to ITD Fleet Manager.

Road closure starts tomorrow morning on Sunnyside and I-15 Business Loop

Idaho Falls Sunnyside Rd/I-15 Business Loop intersection

The Idaho Transportation Department and the city of Idaho Falls will shut down the southbound lanes of West Sunnyside Road/ I-15 Business Loop tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. The closure will last for three days.

The city of Idaho Falls will repair a broken water line under the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 91. Traffic will be detoured, and no left turns will be allowed from northbound US-91 to westbound I-15. There will also be no right hand turns off I-15 Business Loop to southbound US-91 as those lanes will be closed.

Drivers should use alternative routes to avoid traffic delays.

For updates on traffic impacts on state highways and interstates, drivers should check 511.idaho.gov before traveling.

Detour tonight at Fort Hall (Exit 80) Interchange

Fort Hall Construction , I-15, Exit 80

POCATELLO – Aug. 28, 2023 | Southbound drivers on I-15 will be detoured through the interchange ramps at Fort Hall (Exit 80) tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. This will allow crews to operate safely as they work on the bridge beams over the roadway.

The Fort Hall Interchange is undergoing a complete reconstruction to replace the outdated bridge and improve on- and off-ramps. The redesign also allows for the planned three lanes northbound and southbound on I-15. Those wishing to learn more about the project can visit https://itdprojects.org/projects/forthall/

Motorists should exercise caution while travelling through the work zone as traffic patterns will continue to change over the next week to accommodate construction. Drivers can also check 511.idaho.gov or download the 511 app for the last traffic conditions on all state highways and freeways.

ITD to begin night work in Idaho Falls this week through September

Construction zone Sunnyside to Lomax

The Idaho Transportation Department will begin a resurfacing project August 10 that will last through the end of September on Interstate 15/U.S. Highway 26 from Sunnyside Road to Lomax Street in Idaho Falls.

Crews will first mill or grind down the upper layer of the existing asphalt to remove any cracks, ruts, and imperfections. They will then place a layer of asphalt on top of the milled surface to fill any holes and make a smooth surface. This will help extend the lifespan of the road.

During construction traffic will always remain on a paved surface, and pedestrians will always be able to pass through the work zone.

Work will begin each night at 8 p.m. and last until 6 a.m. Lane restrictions will be in place along with flaggers during work hours. All signals may be off at times throughout construction. Drivers should follow directions from flaggers or treat a red flashing signal as an all-way stop.

For updates on traffic impacts on state highways and interstates, drivers should check 511.idaho.gov before traveling.

Construction zone Sunnyside to Lomax
Sunnyside to Lomax project area