COEUR d’ALENE—Project planners invite the public to attend a hearing on Tuesday (Nov. 28) to give their feedback about the conversion of Idaho Highway 41 into a divided four-lane highway from Mullan Avenue to Prairie Avenue in Post Falls.
Held at the Coeur d’Alene office of the Idaho Transportation Department from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the hearing will give the public the opportunity to view exhibits and provide input on the project, ITD project manager Lee Bernardi said.
The project will improve the safety of the highway and meet future traffic demands for the area, Bernardi said.
The comment period for ID-41 improvements from Mullan Avenue to Prairie Avenue will begin with the public hearing on Nov. 28 and close on Dec. 12. Those unable to attend the hearing can still comment by visiting the project website.
“This region is one of the fastest-growing in the nation right now,” Bernardi said. “State highway 41 will experience a significant growth in users. This project will address the traffic and safety needs of the anticipated growth.”
The route connects the developing cities of Post Falls and Rathdrum and serves as an alternative north-south route for US-95. Statistics show that crash severity and fatality rates for ID-41 are greater than the statewide average for similar highways, confirming the need to address both capacity and safety issues for the highway, Bernardi said.
The project also includes traffic signal upgrades at the intersections of 16th, Poleline and Prairie avenues with ID-41, as well as the installation of a new light at Hope Avenue. A path for bikers and pedestrians will be built on the east side of the highway to further connect Post Falls to Rathdrum, Bernardi said.
“We encourage comments from the public,” Bernardi said. “We want the public to be involved in the process because it’s ultimately for them. They’re our users, and we want the project to meet their needs.”
ITD contractors will begin construction in 2020 and finish in 2021. Contractors will minimize traffic impacts by building the new northbound lanes while the public continues to use the existing two-lane highway. Once the northbound lanes are finished, traffic will be redirected to those new lanes while contractors rebuild the old portion of ID-41. At the end of construction, the public will be able to travel on a divided four-lane highway from Mullan Avenue to Prairie Avenue, Bernardi said.
This $14.5 million project is part of a larger reconstruction project to improve ID-41 from Mullan Avenue in Post Falls to Boekel Road in Rathdrum. Improvements for the entire highway between Post Falls and Rathdrum are anticipated to be completed by 2021 at an estimated cost of $39 million, Bernardi said.
Interested parties may attend a separate public meeting in January 2018 for ID-41 improvements from Prairie Avenue to Boekel Road, said John Vaudreuil, ITD project manager for that section of the highway.