ITD System Interchange Construction Accelerates

POCATELLO – With the arrival of spring the Idaho Transportation Department is ramping-up construction at the System Interchange in Pocatello. As part of Governor Little’s “Leading Idaho” initiative, the System Interchange is being redesigned to replace aging bridges built in the 1960s and improve traffic safety.

While work at the interchange continued throughout the winter, in the coming week ITD’s contractor will be placing girders for the new I-15 northbound bridge. This will necessitate rolling slowdowns, delays, and short detours around the I-86 to I-15 ramp leading from Chubbuck toward Blackfoot.

Additionally, as work progresses into the first week of April the Chubbuck Road bridge will be demolished. This will be done in stages with traffic detoured through Chubbuck at night. The first closure will be for northbound traffic and the second for southbound I-15 traffic.

Other projects will also see ramped-up operations including the Fort Hall Interchange and bridge work on I-86. With unprecedented funding made available for construction, Idaho motorists will continue to see increased activity on Idaho’s highways.

To protect Idaho’s workers and other motorists, ITD asks those travelling on Idaho’s highways to follow work zone speed limits, be patient, and plan for extra time to travel to their destinations.

To learn more about the final design of the System Interchange citizens can watch this video

Idaho Office of Highway Safety holding open houses across the state

BOISE– The Idaho Office of Highway Safety wants to hear from you! Come join us for a series of SHIFT open houses across the state. SHIFT is our ongoing initiative to reduce the number of crashes on Idaho roads. By shifting our behavior and focus while we drive — even in the smallest ways — we can save lives. We know safe roads make for happy communities. Let’s work together to drive engaged and keep each other safe out there.

Do you have concerns regarding traffic safety in your neighborhood? Have ideas to solve problems you see in your community? Drop by our next open house to learn about SHIFT and available funding resources. We’re here to help and answer your questions.

Southwest Idaho 

  • Date: Wednesday, March 15
  • Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
  • Location: ITD East Annex Building
  • Address: 3293 Jordan Street, Boise, ID 83703

For accommodation requests, please contact Jillian Garrigues by emailing or calling 208-334-8557. TTY/TDD Users: Dial 711 or 1-800-377-3529 to use Idaho Relay System.

Comments and feedback will be accepted both in-person at the open house and online. Check out our website and submit your input through this online form.

Save the date now for the following future open houses. Exact meeting times will be shared as soon as available.

North Idaho

  • Date: Thursday, April 13
  • Location: ITD District 1
  • Address: 600 West Prairie Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

South Central Idaho

  • Date: Wednesday, May 24
  • Location: ITD District 4
  • Address: 216 South Date Street, Shoshone, ID 83352

North Central Idaho

  • Date: Wednesday, June 21
  • Location: ITD District 2
  • Address: 2600 Frontage Road, Lewiston, ID 83501

Southeast Idaho 

  • Date: Wednesday, July 19
  • Location: ITD District 5
  • Address: 5151 S. 5th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83204

East Idaho

  • Date: Wednesday, August 23
  • Location: ITD District 6
  • Address: 206 North Yellowstone, Rigby, ID 83442

Top-ranked College of Idaho Coyotes help shape Highway Safety effort

It’s been a great season for the College of Idaho men’s basketball team. After losing by four points in their season opener, the Yotes have put together a 30-game winning streak, they’ve won the Cascade Collegiate Conference regular season and tournament titles, and they’ve spent the last few weeks on top of the national polls. At 30-1, they host the first and second rounds of the NAIA Tournament March 6-7 in Caldwell, Idaho and have already secured a berth in the NAIA National Championship tournament beginning March 13 in Kansas City, Missouri.

In mid-February, Coach Colby Blaine sat down with members of ITD’s highway safety staff and law enforcement partners to talk about leadership and his team’s success. He provided a lot of great comments and insights, but one comment really stood out. He said once the team establishes its goals for the year, he asks “who do you have to become to get there?”

Our goal is zero fatalities on Idaho roads – who do we have to become to get there?

Shift began as a research project to reduce distracted-driving crashes in Idaho. As we worked on this project, we realized simply telling people to put away their phones was not enough. We had to show a better way – we had to show who we have to become to prevent these crashes.

We shifted the conversation to focus on what we are doing right and why that is important. That is where the idea of engaged driving was born. If we want to prevent distracted driving, we have to drive in the moment and free from distractions – we have to become engaged drivers.

We decided to create messages that are authentic and relatable and show the behaviors and outcomes we want to see on our roads. It was a bit of a departure from what we are used to seeing. There are no drivers with their phones in hand getting into crashes. Instead we chose to show who we can become when we shift our behavior, thinking and focus.

Knowing what our goal is and who we need to become to get there is important, but so is commitment to the process. Much like a basketball season, we may with new challenges and unforeseen circumstances but if we learn one thing from Coach Blaine and the Yotes, it’s that working as a team, we can accomplish great things.

Plans for addressing the pothole problem on Broadway Ave. in Boise

BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Department is aware of the poor pavement condition on Broadway Avenue in Boise and is working to address the issue. Winter weather has accelerated the roadway surface separating from the pavement underneath, resulting in many large, shallow potholes.

ITD is working to address the pothole problem on an ongoing temporary basis, as well as with a permanent repair planned for this summer. The temporary repairs consist of filling the holes with “cold patch” material, but that has proven challenging as the potholes are shallow enough that the material quickly becomes displaced. None the less, maintenance crews will continue to target those potholes that will hold the patch material.

Permanent repairs will be performed once weather allows later this year. ITD is accepting bids to repave Broadway Avenue from I-84 to Beacon/East Park Boulevard. The project is scheduled to kick off this summer and will ultimately provide drivers with a new, smooth roadway surface.

ITD appreciates the public’s patience and is working diligently to start repaving Broadway Avenue as soon as possible.

Statewide mobilization aims to calm aggressive driving in Idaho

A police car seen from a vehicle's side mirror.

BOISE- The Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and law enforcement partners across Idaho are joining forces to educate drivers and stop aggressive driving. From February 26 through March 11,  expect to see extra officers focused on stopping dangerous, aggressive driving.

In 2022, preliminary data shows there were 14,002 aggressive driving crashes in Idaho. Last year 39 percent of all fatal crashes involved some form of aggressive driving behavior.

“When you hear the words aggressive driving, the first term that comes to mind for most people is road rage,” said Denise Dinnauer, the Aggressive Driving Program Manager for OHS. “But road rage is a criminal act on the extreme end of a wide array of behaviors. More people engage in aggressive driving than they may realize.”

Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Cutting in front of another driver and then slowing down
  • Failing to stop for red lights or stop signs
  • Failing to yield
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Blocking cars that are attempting to change lanes
  • Passing a vehicle on the wrong side of the road or on the shoulder
  • Screaming, honking, or flashing lights
  • Making hand gestures or facial expressions at other drivers

OHS encourages people to drive engaged and think critically about the effect that impulse, emotion, and impatience can have on their actions behind the wheel.

“We know Idahoans want to do the right thing, but people may not realize when they are slipping into aggressive driving behavior that they are putting lives at risk,”  Dinnauer said. “We can all do our part to keep our roads safe and save lives.”

OHS has more aggressive driving prevention materials available at

Extreme Cold May Result in Additional Road Closures

A snowy highway in East Idaho

RIGBY – As extreme cold continues in East Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department is asking motorists to plan ahead and check the website before hitting the roads. “It’s vitally important that drivers are paying close attention to current conditions,” said ITD Public Information Officer Justin Smith. “We always try to keep roads open, but when conditions become unsafe for our plow drivers we have to close the roads to protect everyone.”

Smith also noted that drivers checking the 511 website or using the newly updated version of the 511 app might see a webcam of one portion of the road that looks fine, but other sections may not be safe. “With the changes in altitude at places like the Ashton Hill conditions can be vastly different from Idaho Falls or Henry’s Lake.”

Those changing conditions can also be dangerous. The National Weather Service announced over the weekend that wind chills are dropping to -15°F to -40°F. At -30°F exposed skin can freeze in as little as 10 minutes. That means motorists must be sure to have their vehicle serviced. A poorly maintained vehicle can leave someone stranded.

AAA notes ( several other precautions motorists should take:

  • Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing (including additional clothing for every passenger), a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
  • Stay home and only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.

It is especially important to consider children, the disabled, and elderly who may be passengers. “Sometimes we forget that children and vulnerable adults do not have the ability to maintain body temperature. Kids like to go out without enough cold weather protection, but parents should ensure there are coats, hats, gloves, and other necessities are available if needed,” Smith said.

This winter has become more challenging as District 6 has lost a number of plow drivers leaving 17 vacant positions open. “We do have a few relief plow drivers to help with the vacancies, but it’s not enough to take the pressure off,” said Bryan Young. “This number includes employees who are retiring or are out for extended health reasons. We do have a few new hires, but they will not be 100% this winter.”

The vacant positions may make it necessary to close roads sooner than motorists may be used to. When fully staffed multiple plow drivers can work the same highway from both directions. However, with fewer plows on the road it may not be possible to keep a road open. This is especially the case where snowfall is heavy and strong winds are blowing.

ITD has also been dealing with numerous plow strikes and drivers making dangerous maneuvers around plows. So far 13 plows have been hit this season. Most of those incidents were related to drivers going too fast for conditions and passing plows on the right.


New Idaho 511 app and updated website are now live

BOISE – Upgrade how you navigate the state! The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has launched a new Idaho 511 App and updated the website. Starting today, January 23, 2023, drivers will need to download a new version to their mobile devices. The web address,, and phone number, dial 511, will stay the same.

The old Idaho 511 app and the Idaho 511 Trucking app will not be supported after today, and users could miss crucial travel information if they don’t switch over. There is no dedicated trucking app with the new system. However, the new app has trucking information settings that users can turn on

The new Idaho 511 app has all the same tools to help you plan your trips, plus additional features. The new app displays special events that might impact travel, seven-day weather forecasts, highway oasis locations, and more. You can create an account, save custom routes and sign up for notifications when your routes are impacted. If you had an account with the previous 511 system, you will need to make a new account to save routes and set up notifications.

511 is a public service of the Idaho Transportation Department to help travelers access information about road conditions, traffic incidents, weather, and tourism information via the phone, on the web, or by smartphone app, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.  511 provides continual updates about weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions, road closures, and other travel information.

2022 sees reduction in Idaho traffic fatalities, grants available to continue the trend

BOISE – Idaho saw a reduction in traffic fatalities in 2022. Last year, 219 people were killed in crashes on Idaho roads, according to preliminary data from the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS). This is a 19 percent decrease from 271 deaths in 2021.

“It is nice to see progress, but 219 distinct tragedies show we still have a lot of work to do,” said OHS Manager Josephine Middleton. “These deaths have a profound impact on families, friends, and communities. We want to work with partners across the state to prevent future tragedies.”

OHS is accepting grant applications for Federal Fiscal Year 2024 (October 2023-September 2024). The goal is to eliminate deaths and serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes by helping fund traffic safety projects. Local governments, law enforcement, school districts, colleges, universities, and non-profits are all encouraged to apply. Examples of past grant projects include enhanced police patrols for impaired driving, Seat Check Saturday for child passenger safety, pedestrian and bike safety education, and more.

Grant proposals must focus on influencing positive driver behavior.

“We know most Idahoans want to do the right thing behind the wheel. It’s who we are,” said Middleton. “These grants are about empowering people by providing the knowledge and resources to make their communities safer places to walk, bike, and drive.”

Applications are open now and close on February 28, 2023. Virtual pre-application training is available on Wednesday, January 25, at 9 a.m. MST and Thursday, February 2, at 2 p.m. MST. Email to register. 

Go to to learn more and apply for a grant.

Idaho Office of Highway Safety now accepting grant applications

Have an idea for a project that will help improve driver behavior in Idaho? Spread the word! The Idaho Office of Highway Safety is now accepting year-long grant applications for Federal Fiscal Year 2024.

Click here for the application and complete instructions, or visit

Funding will be awarded to activities that address behaviors related to traffic safety including:

  • Impaired driving
  • Aggressive
  • Distracted driving
  • Occupant protection and seat belt use
  • Child passenger safety
  • Bicycle and pedestrian safety
  • Motorcycle safety
  • Youthful drivers
  • Traffic records

Projects selected will begin October 1, 2023 and end September 30, 2024. Applications must be submitted to OHS by Tuesday, February 28, 2023.

For more information about the Idaho Office of Highway Safety, visit


Plan for a Sober Ride Home on New Year’s Eve

BOISE — As Idahoans prepare to ring in the New Year, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reminds revelers to have a plan for a sober ride home.

This weekend, ITD’s Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and law enforcement agencies across Idaho will work together to keep Idahoans safe from drunk and impaired drivers. Law enforcement officers from more than 50 agencies will dedicate patrols to getting impaired drivers off the roads.

“Our goal is to help Idahoans start the New Year safely by reminding them to make a plan to get a safe ride home,” said Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton.

In 2021, 108 people were killed in crashes that involved an impaired driver in Idaho. This represents 40 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.

While law enforcement will be on heightened watch for drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, preventing crashes is a shared responsibility in our community.

“We want people to enjoy the holiday with family and friends, but we also want them around to enjoy all of 2023 as well,” Middleton said. “This is why it’s so important for everyone on the roads to do their part to put an end to impaired driving.”

Middleton offered the following tips for a safe New Year’s Eve:

  • Designate a sober driver or plan to use a ride service to get home safely.
  • Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously, and do not drink any alcohol. Your friends and family are counting on you.
  • If someone you know is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and help arrange a safe ride.
  • Always buckle up – it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

Funding for extra patrols and overtime work focused on impaired driving enforcement is provided by a grant through the Idaho Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.