ITD to hold open house for I-90/ID-41 interchange redesign on Nov. 20

Aerial view of the current I-90/ID-41 interchange.

The Idaho Transportation Department invites the public to view and give comment on the selected design of the Interstate 90 and Idaho Highway 41 interchange at an open house next Wednesday, November 20.

Members of the public may arrive at any time between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Red Lion Hotel in Post Falls.

Since the last public meeting in November 2018, ITD has coordinated with the city of Post Falls and other stakeholders to select the preferred design to improve safety and mobility. The latest plans feature an offset single-point urban interchange (SPUI).

View proposed plans for the interchange.

Earlier this year another project originally planned for 2025 to address similar concerns on ID-41 between Seltice and Mullan avenues was combined with this 2023 project. Additional lanes will be added at the Mullan Avenue intersection, and a raised curbed median will limit left turns from side streets onto the highway.

ITD will also ask the public to share concerns about construction of this $39-million project.

Those unable to attend may visit the project website to learn more and to comment. Comments will be accepted from November 20 to December 4.

 

Idaho drivers must provide proof of insurance to DMV, or have registration suspended, as new law takes effect in 2020

Drive Insured! Be safe, be smart! Insure your vehicle or lose your registration.

Vehicle owners will need to provide proof of insurance for two consecutive months or risk having their registration suspended beginning in 2020.

The law (Idaho Code Section 49-1234) was passed during the 2019 Idaho legislative session and goes into effect in January. It requires the Idaho Transportation Department’s Division of Motor Vehicles to determine monthly whether the owner of a vehicle has insurance. The law applies only to non-commercial vehicles, and excludes trailers and off-highway vehicles.

A notification letter will be sent to affected vehicle owners to alert them of the law change.

Owners without insurance coverage for two consecutive months will receive a warning and be given 30 days to provide proof of insurance or obtain an exemption before their registration is suspended.

To reinstate a suspended registration, owners will need to provide proof of insurance and pay a fee of $75.

Some vehicles are exempt from this mandate. For a full list of frequently asked questions, please visit itd.idaho.gov/driveidaho

US-95 construction close to Winchester nears winter shutdown

Picture showing flagger on US-95 in Culdesac Canyon in November 2019

Work that begin in April to extend the passing lane on US-95 near Winchester will be mostly complete for the season after crews finishing paving on Friday, November 15.

Paving operations are currently underway, with the highway reduced to one lane of alternating traffic. Once paving is complete, the speed limit will revert to 65 mph but could be adjusted as necessary throughout winter.

Miscellaneous work will continue after paving but all work is expected to be done by Thanksgiving.

“This year, we were able excavate enough rock for the southernmost mile of the passing lane and upgrade five culverts to be more fish friendly,” said Curtis Arnzen, ITD’s resident engineer for the project. “Construction next year will be similar to what it was like this year, though there won’t be as many blastings scheduled.”

Construction will resume in March 2020 to finish excavating and paving the three-mile passing lane and replace the remaining four culverts. The passing lane will not be open to the public until the entire project is complete next fall.

The existing passing lane from milepost 289 to milepost 290.5 was constructed in 2016. By 2027, ITD plans to have a completed passing lane between Winchester and Culdesac for an estimated $50 million.

ITD & Governor’s Office collaborate to promote Traffic Incident Safety Week awareness

 

Idaho Gov. Brad Little and ITD collaborated Tuesday, Nov. 12 to bring attention to the importance of traffic incident responders during National Traffic Incident Management Awareness Week.

Gov. Little signed a proclamation Tuesday recognizing the importance of traffic managers and incident responders.

Roadway incidents can occur at any time and may require law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, tow operators and transportation workers. The ability for them to respond quickly is critical for protecting life and reducing secondary crashes.

“The traveling public can do their part to protect responders by driving in an engaged manner and moving over when incident responders are present,” Gov. Little said.

Traffic incident responders in Idaho contribute substantially to caring for victims in these crashes, and the quick clearance of our roadways increases mobility of the traveling public and has the added benefit of greatly enhancing safety on the highways.

Brief closures on US-12 east of Lewiston planned Tuesday morning for utility work

https://itd.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/US-12-closure_Avista-river-crossing-location_November-2019.jpg

Two 15-minute closures are scheduled Tuesday morning on US-12 east of Lewiston to allow Avista to install a new electric distribution line.

The first closure will be near the 36th Street intersection at 7:30 a.m. A helicopter will transport a power line over the highway and across the river as part of the Clearwater River Distribution Project. Traffic will be released after the first crossing and then held again for one more crossing.

The Port of Entry will not be affected but traffic control devices may be in place in the area until 10 a.m.

For information on the project, please call Avista.

Repairs to flood damage on ID-162 near Kamiah scheduled for mid-November

Eroded shoulder on ID-162 near Kamiah in August.

Repairs are scheduled Wednesday through Saturday (Nov. 13 – 16) to address damage from springtime flooding on Idaho Highway 162 four miles south of Kamiah.

Flaggers will guide one lane of traffic through the work zone between mileposts 18-19 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No traffic impacts are expected at night.

Crews will place large rocks against the streambank to support the highway shoulder and minimize future erosion concerns.

US-95 reconstruction in Bonners Ferry nearly complete

Picture of the freshly reconstructed highway

Weather permitting, highway construction in Bonners Ferry is expected to end before Thanksgiving.

Minor work on sidewalks and landscaping will continue through the month but highway traffic will not be stopped.

Over the last two years, the highway has been rebuilt from Kootenai River Bridge to Alderson Lane with a continuous center turn lane through town and pedestrian facilities on both sides.

A second phase of construction between Alderson Lane and Labrosse Hill Street is scheduled for 2023 and 2024 and will extend a similar design to better serve mobility and safety in the area.

Motorists encounter new traffic pattern next week on US-93 in Lincoln County

Motorists traveling on US-93 south of Shoshone next week will encounter a change in traffic pattern as newly constructed climbing lanes open for use. The new lanes are expected to open on Tuesday (Nov. 5).

“The addition of these climbing lanes will allow drivers to safely pass slower vehicles that may be traveling along the elevated stretch of roadway,” said south-central Idaho project coordinator Kenny Lively. “These new lanes will improve safety in the corridor for both commercial and passenger vehicles.”

Since May of this year, the Idaho Transportation Department has been constructing a divided highway with approximately three miles of northbound and southbound lanes near Notch Butte.

Portable message signs have been added on US-93 alerting drivers of the upcoming change in pattern. Motorists should pay attention while driving through this area as they become familiar with navigating the new roadway.

 

Substantial headway made on Salt Lake Interchange project east of Burley

Underway since May 2018, substantial progress has been made on the Interstate 84/86 Salt Lake City Interchange in Cassia County. With this project, the Idaho Transportation Department is replacing the old interchange with a new structure that will meet current standards and provide a better driving experience for motorists.

“This is a vital travel and commerce corridor for not only this area, but for the entire state,” said ITD Project Manager Travis Hitchcock. “Our goal is to construct an interchange that will serve motorists for many years to come.”

As work proceeds, drivers should anticipate a continuation of reduced speeds and changing traffic patterns through the work zone.

“There will be varying detours over the next several months as work on specific portions of the structure occurs,” stated ITD Project Inspector Jack Kelly. “It’s important that motorists not follow their GPS but instead pay close attention to signage which is in place to safely direct motorists through the area.”

Construction is scheduled to finish by late 2020.

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

Improved, updated 511 Traveler Information System launched

Note: The image above is what a visitor to the 511 site will see – an invitation to try out the new platform.

BOISE – With winter driving weather bearing down on much of the state, a new and improved version of the 511 Traveler Information System launched today (Thursday, Oct. 31). The improved site, still accessible at 511.idaho.gov, offers an updated look and new features for the 14-year-old service.

“The new website offers a new, more intuitive user interface,” explained 511 Manager Tony Ernest. “We are simplifying and consolidating — making it easier to use and find the information people want.”

“We’re taking the best from multiple pages before and rolling it into one location,” Ernest explained. The improvement also means that all platforms – desktop computer, tablet, cell phone — will be supported by that one single site.

Rather than offering a separate version for commercial vehicle operators, the improved 511 has a special “Truckers” mode more customized to their specific needs.

Ernest also said the improved site welcomes feedback. “The site lets you offer your feedback to us,” Ernest said. “Based on what you tell us, we will continue to modify and improve the site over the next few months.”

The 511 service has proven to be a valuable source of information on road conditions statewide. The 511 slogan — “Know B 4 U Go” — is a reminder that it is best to get road condition information before you get behind the wheel and start your trip, and to factor in conditions along your travel route and at your destination.

The 511 service in Idaho launched in November 2005. Since then, citizens have accessed the 511 service 41 million times, including 5.6 million times last year.

The system accesses 150 traffic cameras statewide.

Idaho’s system came when the Federal Communications Commission designated 511 as the nation’s traveler information phone number in 2000.

Nearly two dozen enhancements have been made since 511 was unveiled. In addition to four state awards, in 2010 the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recognized the system with a national President’s Transportation Award for Traffic Safety.

511.idaho.gov – Know B4 U Go