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.

 

 

Hearing begins today on 129,000-pound truck route application for Custer and Butte counties

Graphic of truck on highway with text reading Comment on proposed 129k route

The Idaho Transportation Department is hosting a virtual public hearing to collect comments on a proposal to reclassify a portion of US-93 in Custer and Butte counties as legal for commercial loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds.

In the application submitted to ITD, Amalgamated Sugar Company requested reclassification of the following route in order to transport lime rock from the US Calcium mine near Darlington to their plants in Twin Falls and Paul:

– US-93 from the Idaho Highway 75 junction near Challis to the US-20 junction in Arco (MP 160.38 to 82.60)

The public hearing begins today and continues until June 23.

The hearing provides an opportunity for citizens to learn about 129,000 pound loads. Individuals are also able to review the evaluation and comment on the current route application.

To access the hearing, visit itd.idaho.gov/freight

Comments will be accepted through Wednesday, June 23 and may be submitted in the following ways:

– recorded by calling (855) 790-4988
– via the online hearing: itd.idaho.gov/freight
– emailed to: officeofthechiefengineer@itd.idaho.gov
– mailed to: Idaho Transportation Department
ATTN: Scott Luekenga
PO Box 7129
Boise, ID  83707

Individuals may also contact Scott Luekenga directly with questions or comments regarding this application, 129k routes, or the approval process by calling 208-334-8057.

The Department is required to conduct an analysis and public hearing on all requests to operate 129,000 lbs. on the state highway system before the Idaho Transportation Board makes a final decision.

ITD launches two-week virtual meeting (May 21-June 4) to share next steps for Idaho 16 extension

Idaho Highway 16 in the Treasure Valley

The Idaho Transportation Department launches a two-week online meeting today (May 21) to share plans for the next phase of extending Idaho Highway 16 through the central Treasure Valley. The meeting will be available from May 21 to June 4 at itdprojects.org/idaho16.

The meeting includes a virtual tour and design plans for the future north-south corridor, which is currently the primary route to Emmett. ITD is extending the corridor 5.5 miles south to connect with I-84.

Online Public Meeting Invite

The extension of Idaho 16 will operate as a high-speed expressway, with limited access on or off it. By 2040, the highway is expected to serve 60,000 motorists each day in the growing area between Ada and Canyon counties.

“This corridor has been in the making for many years and the community has given input at many important stages of this significant highway corridor,” said ITD Program Manager Amy Schroeder. “All of the design plans in this online meeting are consistent with the overall vision and allows ITD to proceed to construction next year.”

Phase 1 of the corridor was completed in 2014 and involved bridging Idaho 16 over the Boise River and connecting U.S. 20/26 and Idaho 44.

On Wednesday, the Idaho Transportation Board approved funding to construct the next phase of the extension. Phase 2, the focus of the online meeting, will build the remaining five miles of highway from U.S. 20/26 to I-84. This includes an interchange with I-84, connections at Franklin and Ustick Roads, and bridge structures over local roads, canals, and a railroad.

The estimated cost of this work is $170 million. It will be funded using bonds and paid off using new sales tax funds approved by the Idaho Legislature in 2021.

“The work we have done on the Idaho 16 corridor in the last few years has prepared us to quickly leverage this new funding stream,” said Schroeder. “We have an obligation to the taxpayer to make the most of the today’s low interest rates and bring needed transportation investments to Idaho quickly.”

The online meeting will include live Q&A sessions from 12-1 p.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. on June 2. Alternate versions of the meeting are available for those without Internet access. Please contact ITD at (208) 334-8008 or Idaho16@ITD.Idaho.gov.

Comment period open for the I-86/I-15 system interchange project in Pocatello

I-15/I-86 Interchange Southbound

 
POCATELLO – The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has opened a two week comment period to the public on recent project updates to the I-86/I-15 System Interchange project.

The public can now comment on the system interchange project updates which include but are not limited to:  a new separated pedestrian/bicycle pathway east of the interstate; construction detour information; project FAQs and other proposed improvements.

The community can utilize an interactive map showing the project details and proposed improvements before submitting their comments. The comment period is open now through Monday, May 24.

Project construction will begin in 2022 with plans of interchange completion in 2025.

For project information, updates and to comment please visit: 

Public invited to view final design and construction plans next week for US-93, 300 South roadway project in Jerome County

Map view of US-93 expansion project in Jerome County

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will host a public meeting for the US-93, 300 South project to share the latest information about plans to expand US-93 to four lanes between 200 South and 400 South in Jerome County. This will be the fourth and final expansion of US-93 in the area and will provide a safer roadway for commercial and non-commercial vehicles.

The meeting will be held in an open house format on Wednesday, May 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Idaho Fish and Game, Magic Valley Regional Office located at 324 South 417 East in Jerome. Members of the public are invited to drop in anytime during the open house to view display boards and talk with the project team.

In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, the number of attendees will be limited to 50 people at one time. ITD personnel will adhere to best practices during the public meeting and requests that individuals who attend follow recommended guidance relating to COVID-19.

An online version of the meeting will also be available for those who cannot attend on May 12. The online meeting will be available from May 13 to 27 on the project website at: itdprojects.org/projects/us-93-300-south-road.

Individuals who are not feeling well are encouraged to participate in the online meeting instead of attending in person.

Comments will be accepted through June 4, 2021.

Attending the public open house is not a requirement for submitting a comment. Comments can also be submitted via:

Email:    Nathan.Jerke@itd.idaho.gov
Online:   itdprojects.org/projects/us-93-300-south-road
Mail:      Idaho Transportation Department
Attn: Nathan Jerke
216 South Date Street
Shoshone, ID 83352

For more information on project specifics, please contact the ITD Project Manager by emailing Nathan.Jerke@itd.idaho.gov or calling 208-886-7809.

ITD considering partnership to reinitiate maintenance of backcountry airstrip in Lemhi County

Hoodoo Meadows Airstrip corridor and borrow trench - Photo taken near entrance facing North.

The Idaho Transportation Department’s Division of Aeronautics (ITD) is seeking public comments as it considers restoring and managing a backcountry airstrip in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

The Hoodoo Meadows airstrip (as shown in image above) is the highest in the state at an elevation of 8,200 feet, and provides access to the Frank Church – Wilderness of No Return. The airstrip is located just south of Yellowjacket Lake and near the popular Bighorn Crags area. It has not been used since the 1980s.

The site was managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) after its construction in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and traditionally used to gain recreational access for alpine lake fishing, wildlife viewing, and big game hunting. Although there were no reported accidents, in the early 1980s the airstrip was rated marginal for safety, and by 1989 trees had encroached the site and made it unusable.

In 2016, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) initiated the effort to restore the Hoodoo Meadows airstrip, due to repeated public inquiries about recreational accessibility. Together, USFS, IDFG, and ITD, with support from the Idaho Aviation Association and the Recreation Aviation Foundation, are working on an agreement that would open the site for air travel and provide for future maintenance.

“This effort has been underway for several years. Our role would be making the airstrip safe for pilots to land again, by clearing vegetation and installing safety features like runway markers,” Aeronautics Administrator Jeff Marker said. “It would take about a month of initial cleanup work on our part, but would provide more access for those who wish to explore some of the most remote places in Idaho.”

Visit itd.idaho.gov/aero to review the proposed partnership, then please provide ITD your feedback on the plan. Public comments will be accepted March 15 to March 29 through the following options:

  • Email jillian.garrigues@itd.idaho.gov
  • Record verbal testimony by calling (855) 785-2499
  • Send your written comments by mail to
    ATTN: Jillian Garrigues
    Idaho Transportation Department
    PO Box 7129
    Boise, ID 83707

The USFS sought comments in 2018 on reopening the Hoodoo Meadows airstrip. Now, the public can voice their support or concerns regarding ITD’s involvement in the partnership.

ITD to host a public hearing on the proposed action to abandon the Idaho Highway 75 Spur to Blaine County

Image of ID-75 in Blaine County

Members of the public are invited to provide comment regarding a proposed action for the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to abandon the Idaho Highway 75 Spur to Blaine County.

The ID-75 Spur, also known as Sun Valley Road, connects ID-75 in Ketchum to Trail Creek Road in Sun Valley from milepost 0.0 to 3.6.

During the month of January, ITD will host two events for the public to learn more about the action and comment on the proposal. Representatives from ITD, Blaine County, Ketchum and Sun Valley will be in attendance.

    • On Thursday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. ITD will host an hour-long webinar. The public may join the webinar by visiting the project website and clicking on the Zoom link under Option 1.

There will be a brief presentation followed by a Q&A session via the chat feature. A recording of the webinar will also be posted to the project website afterward. No official comments will be accepted during this event.

    • On Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ITD will provide an opportunity for individuals to meet one-on-one and discuss this proposed action in-person at the Sun Valley City Council Chambers at 81 Elkhorn Road.

In-person meetings will be available on a limited basis and ITD requests that those who attend follow recommended guidelines relating to COVID-19. Interested members of the public should call (208) 886-7806 or email jessica.williams@itd.idaho.gov to schedule a 20-minute appointment during the timeframe listed above. Individuals who schedule an in-person meeting will be able to provide written or recorded testimony if desired.

Comments will be accepted through Friday, Jan. 29 and may also be submitted in the following ways:

• recorded by calling (855) 785-2499
• via the project website: itdprojects.org/projects/id-75-spur
• emailed to jessica.williams@itd.idaho.gov
• mailed to:
Idaho Transportation Department
Attn: Jessica Williams
216 South Date Street
Shoshone, ID 83352

ITD is required to conduct a public hearing and evaluation on this proposed adjustment of the State Highway System before the Board makes a final decision and an agreement with Blaine County is signed.

For more information on this public hearing or the proposed action for ITD to abandon the ID-75 Spur, please visit the project website or call (208) 886-7806.

Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program Seeks Public Input on Draft Federal Transit Administration DBE Methodology

virtual meeting

The Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) program works to provide a level playing field for women-owned and minority-owned under-represented businesses on federally funded transportation design and construction projects.  

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is currently working on the Federal Transit Administration DBE Methodology review and approval process, and is seeking public comment on the draft proposal.  

The comment period will begin Monday, Dec. 7, 2020 and ends on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.   

ITD will be holding a virtual meeting during the comment period on Thursday, Dec. 10, 4:00 – 5:30 pm (MST). 

“The purpose of the virtual meeting is to provide the public information on how we determined the proposed DBE methodology and answer any questions or concerns the public may have regarding the draft proposal,” said DBE Program Coordinator Ester Ceja. 

If you have any questions, concerns, or program comments contact Ester at 208.334.8567 or Ester.Ceja@itd.idaho.gov  

DBE Public Comment Document

WebEx Meeting Instructions

Comment period open for proposed changes to commercial trucking limits on some Latah County highways

Centerline photo of ID-9 south of Harvard

The Idaho Transportation Department is hosting a virtual public hearing to collect comments on a proposal to reclassify several highways in Latah County as legal for commercial loads weighing up to 129,000 pounds.

In the application submitted to ITD, Bennett Lumber Products requested reclassification of the following routes due to the discontinuation of service on the Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway:

  • Idaho Highway 6 from the US-95 junction to Harvard
  • Idaho Highway 9 from Harvard to Deary
  • Idaho Highway 8 from Deary to the US-95 junction

These highways are currently rated for commercial loads weighing up to 105,500 pounds. Analysis by ITD subject matter experts found that allowing heavier loads on the specified routes could be accommodated without affecting safety or pavement conditions.

“There are many misconceptions about this type of trucking, so we encourage everyone to spend time on the website,” said Jan Vassar, the Idaho Transportation Board Member representing North Central Idaho. “Comments will help the board make a decision.”

The application, analysis by ITD and FAQs about 129,000-pound loads are available at itd.idaho.gov/freight. Comments are being sought until December 21 and can be submitted in the following ways:

Commenters can also call ITD Freight Program Manager Scott Luekenga at (208) 334-8057 with questions.

The department is required to conduct an analysis and public hearing on all requests to operate 129,000-pound loads on the state highway system before the Idaho Transportation Board makes a final decision. The board could make a decision as early as January after reviewing comments.

ID-55 project between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley to start September 8

ID-55 at Smiths Ferry

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) starts road work on the Idaho Highway 55 safety-enhancement project between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley on September 8.

The public is invited to attend a virtual public meeting on Wednesday, September 2, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. where ITD representatives will give an overview of the project and take questions. The link to attend will be posted on the project website, itdprojects.org/ID55smithsferry, 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

Work will largely be done in fall, spring and summer months, with construction stopping during the winter. This fall, travelers can expect full closures on the roadway Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to allow for blasting and rock removal.

Motorists can find additional details on road closures and traffic patterns on the project website, and can sign up for email and text updates.

“Our goal with this project is to enhance the safety of this mile-long section of the roadway,” Project Manager Alex Deduck said. “Construction crews will remove about 146,000 tons of rock from the hillside, which we want to do very carefully to not create rockslides or impact the river.”

Crews will work on widening shoulders and straightening the curves of the road. This project will also provide a smoother, safer ride for motorists by adding guardrail.

Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds and lanes reduced to one-way alternating traffic during construction. Seasonal closures and traffic patterns will be as follows:

  • Fall (September – November): One-way alternating traffic controlled by a temporary signal; daytime and nighttime work, seven days a week; full road closures Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Winter (December – Mid-March): No construction expected; all lanes open
  • Spring (Mid-March – Mid-May): One-way alternating traffic controlled by a temporary signal; daytime and nighttime work, seven days a week; full road closures Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Summer (Mid-May – August): One-way alternating traffic controlled by flaggers; daytime and nighttime work, Monday – Friday

The project is expected to be completed by late fall 2022. ITD and the Idaho State Police advise motorists to slow down and pay attention when driving in work zones, where increased speeding fines and other penalties apply. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and dial 5-­1-­1 or visit 511.idaho.gov for information on the state highway or interstate system.