Nighttime closures on Interstate 90 near Huetter begin next week

Vehicles travel near crossovers constructed in 2018 on I-90.

Interstate 90 will be reduced to two lanes at night next week while crews prepare for continued construction this year to repair bridges over Huetter and Atlas roads.

Construction in the area last year built crossovers that will allow all four lanes to remain open during daytime work, which is scheduled to begin the last weekend in March.

Eastbound lanes will be divided before the rest area near Huetter, with one lane remaining in place for access to the rest area and Northwest Boulevard, and the other lane crossing the median to join westbound traffic over the bridges. Although those needing access to the rest area and Northwest Boulevard exit will need to remain in the right lane, both lanes will have access to the US-95 exit. View a graphic showing traffic impacts.

Later this year, crews will work on the other halves of the bridges, requiring westbound lanes to be divided and all drivers heading to the rest area will need to take the right lane. Both lanes will have access to the Idaho Highway 41 exit during that configuration.

As part of this project, more overpasses in Post Falls will receive a sealing treatment. This work will be done at night and requires single-lane closures for a few nights per bridge.

At this time the only planned daytime closures on the interstate are scheduled for work later this spring to gain more accurate measurements from the weigh-in-motion concrete slab west of the ID-41 interchange by creating a smoother transition. During this time, one eastbound lane will be closed for two weekends with some nighttime lane closures in between.

All work is expected to be completed by early July and will be followed by another project to reduce rutting from the Washington-Idaho border to the Northwest Boulevard exit. Resurfacing will last until September.

Information on the bridge maintenance project can be found at itdprojects.org/i90bridgespf, and information on the resurfacing project can be found at itdprojects.org/i90statelineresurfacing.

Overnight detour planned next week for I-84/86 Salt Lake Interchange project east of Burley

Traffic will be detoured overnight next week for motorists heading eastbound on Interstate 84 from Burley toward Pocatello as crews work to place girders on the newly constructed bridge.

This is part of the Salt Lake Interchange replacement project, underway since May of last year. Construction is scheduled to finish by late 2020.

This temporary traffic pattern is expected to be in effect between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. during the nights girders are placed. Work is anticipated to be completed within a week.

“Detouring traffic around this portion of the work zone ensures the safety of motorists who would otherwise be traveling underneath the bridge,” said ITD Project Manager Travis Hitchcock. “Crews will be working to place the girders at night in order to reduce traffic impacts during peak traveling hours.”

Drivers should still anticipate reduced speeds through the work zone and pay close attention to signage which will be in place to safely direct motorists through the area.

Wadsworth Brothers Construction, of Draper, Utah is the prime contractor on this project.

District and HQ collaborate to expedite I-84 bridge repair

Earlier last week, crews in District 4 worked with the Headquarters Bridge section to repair damaged bridge joints on Interstate 84 near Glenns Ferry. It was most likely damaged due to the lower position of that joint compared to the rest of bridge deck and the resulting impact and vibration of passing vehicles. You can hear it on this video.

During a routine inspection, HQ Bridge Inspector Toby Griffin found that a portion of the bridge joint was missing, and another section was broken and loose.

“I was in the area doing a routine inspection of railroad structures below when I heard loud clanking sounds coming from the bridge deck above,” said Griffin. “This was not normal, so I investigated further and discovered the broken joint.”

Toby texted a photo of the damage to his supervisor, Dan Gorley, who quickly reached out to D4 Maintenance Coordinator Shawn Webb.

After discussing the situation, it was determined that a lane closure would ensure the safety of motorists driving westbound on the interstate. Despite it being after normal working hours, crews were onsite and implementing traffic control within the hour, while district and headquarter personnel worked into the evening to develop an emergency repair plan.

The following morning, crews were dispatched to the bridge deck to begin work. Repairs included removal of broken bolts, rethreading of damaged base plates, and welding and re-installment of the broken finger joint section.

“This was a great example of ITD personnel working together in an efficient and collaborative effort to ensure successful execution of one of the department’s key mission points – safety,” said Webb. “Four separate crews came together quickly to work as one to find a viable solution that allowed us to reopen the roadway within 24 hours of the initial discovery.”

The Bliss Foreman area crew, the D4 Bridge crew, the D4 Welder/Machinist, and personnel from HQ’s Bridge Inspection crew all participated in repair efforts of the broken bridge joint.

Planning is underway for development of a strategy to address the joints located on the westbound and eastbound bridges at this location. Webb stated that “the goal is to have a more permanent solution regarding this issue in the near future.”

St. Maries bridge work ramps up in April

In early April, crews will start work on the driving surface of the bridge over the St. Joe River on Idaho Highway 3 in St. Maries.

Two lanes of traffic will run on the newest portion of the bridge, with this and other weather-dependent work, such as the placing of more sidewalks and the paving of Meadowhurst Drive, scheduled for completion this summer. Other remaining work includes placing an overlay and installing fencing on the railroad bridge, which opened to traffic in January 2019.

In the meantime, a small crew is still on the construction site performing work that is not weather-dependent.

Upon completion, both bridges will include one lane in each direction with a shoulder and sidewalk on each side. Work also includes reconstructing the highway to match the upgraded bridges, replacing guardrail and signs in several locations and improving the adjoining intersections.

Utility work ongoing in Bonners Ferry for US-95 reconstruction

Traffic flows through construction on US-95 near the Kootenai River Bridge in Bonners Ferry.

From 2018: Traffic flows through construction on US-95 near the Kootenai River Bridge in Bonners Ferry.

During the month of March, work on the east side of US-95 from Madison Street to Alderson Lane will relocate utilities in advance of paving.

In the next few weeks, crews will remove some of the sidewalks and drainage infrastructure. Some trees will be cleared away, and the vacant building near Lincoln Street will be demolished. This work could require some temporary lane closures, but the major roadway impacts for the season are expected to start in April and last until October.

Once paving starts, one lane will remain open in each direction. Any nighttime work will allow alternating, one-way traffic. Sidewalks will be closed for the duration of the project, and city street intersections will be closed temporarily as they are reconstructed.

The signal at Alderson Lane will be removed later this year.

Work this season will wrap up the initial stage of reconstruction from the Kootenai River Bridge to Alderson Lane. Work from Alderson Lane to Labrosse Hill Street is scheduled to start in 2022 and end in 2023. After construction, there will be a continuous three-lane section through town complete with pedestrian facilities.

For more information, visit the project website.

Nez Perce Tribe and ITD share new website for the Aht’Wy Plaza interchange

A semi passes the east entrance to Aht'Wy Plaza on US-12 near Lewiston.

Those interested in safety improvements at Aht’Wy Plaza on US-12 in Lewiston may now get their questions answered by visiting itdprojects.org/ahtwyinterchange.

The Nez Perce Tribe and ITD published a joint website that offers visitors the opportunity to view the final report from the road safety audit, understand how the plaza developed and subscribe for updates.

Email updates will be sent to all subscribers and posted to the website after team meetings about the planned interchange’s design, which is scheduled for completion in winter 2019/2020.

“The intent of the website is to provide updates on safety efforts as well as the design progress that is being made for the interchange at Aht’Wy Plaza,” said ITD engineering manager Doral Hoff. “It will be the best point of information on the interchange and any other improvements in the meantime.”

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/

Extreme winter weather closes roads, stretches resources

A series of winter storms pounded Idaho this week, bringing heavy snowfall to the region and causing multiple road closures. The extreme weather forced ITD to rally personnel and equipment to meet the challenge. The department shifted equipment and staffing resources as best as possible around the state. It has been all-hands-on deck for much of the last two weeks as crews continue working hard to plow and clear roads as quickly and safely as possible.

From new snow to low visibility, drifting, and several avalanches or threats of slides, the department was hit hard in several areas. The worst winter weather seemed to reside in eastern Idaho, while avalanche conditions in District 3 and District 4 made several popular routes impassable.

“ITD’s primary mission is maintaining the safety and mobility of Idaho’s transportation system,” said ITD Chief Deputy Scott Stokes. “We only close roads when the traveling public and our ITD crews are in jeopardy. If a road is closed, that means it is completely impassable and unsafe for travel.”

For current road conditions and updates, please check the department’s traveler advisory site, 511.idaho.gov.

The department also has a winter readiness website. Please visit Idaho Ready.

Work on US-12 improvements in Lewiston begins in March; open house Feb. 28

Vehicles move through the US-12 and 21st Street intersection, which is set for reconstruction in 2019.

The Idaho Transportation Department invites the public to attend an open house on Feb. 28 about upcoming improvements to the US-12 and 21st Street intersection.

The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston (621 21st St.). Attendees will have an opportunity to view construction phasing and detours for work that is scheduled to begin in March and last through October.

Construction will improve safety and traffic flow at the busiest intersection in Central Idaho by creating a more standard intersection. View the full list of changes.

The intersection will remain closed for the season, with the following detours in place:

  • East of the intersection, drivers may use 24th Street to go south on 21st Street or 26th Street to go north on 21st Street to and from East Main Street. During construction, both streets will be converted to one-way streets.
  • West of the intersection, drivers may use 18th Street and Idaho Street to head north and south on 21st Street to US-12.

Through traffic on US-12 will not be detoured but will be reduced to one lane in each direction. A temporary signal will be installed at East Main Street and the highway to allow drivers to directly travel east on US-12 or Main Street.

Crews will typically be on site throughout the week during the day, but work is allowed on weekends. Visitors to Locomotive Park can expect short closures during the first phase of construction as city stormwater improvements are installed.

Interested members of the public may sign up for an e-newsletter by visiting the project website.