The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has started the process of reevaluating an environmental assessment of State Highway 16 (SH-16) first completed in 2005. While holding to an approved highway alignment from the 2005 study, other features such as roadway connections and highway capacity will be reevaluated to address the needs of growth through the year 2050.
An increase in population, development and number of crashes in the area, along with other SH-16 highway improvements currently under construction has made updating the environmental assessment necessary for the design and potential construction of improvements. Between 2017 and 2021, 263 total crashes occurred in the corridor, eight of which included fatalities. Crashes went up by 89%, where traffic only increased by 27%.
The reevaluation will gather updated information about traffic volumes and impacts to environmental resources. In addition, ITD will develop a range of potential improvement plans as part of the reevaluation process.
“State Highway 16 is a key transportation corridor in the central Treasure Valley,” said ITD Project Manager Mark Wasdahl. “This environmental document is the next, important step toward addressing long-term safety and traffic capacity. We will be asking for the community’s feedback at several points in this process.”
The environmental reevaluation began in June 2023 and is expected to be complete in 2025. ITD is working with key stakeholders and numerous state and local agencies to gather ideas and input, identify issues and concerns and maintain interagency coordination throughout the process. ITD will also hold several public meetings for the community to learn about the project and provide feedback on potential improvement plans. The first public meeting for community members to provide input on the project is expected to occur in December 2023.
Read more about the project here.