Public Transportation Advisory Council to meet June 15

The Idaho Transportation Department’s Public Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC) will have its second meeting of 2021 on Tuesday, June 15. The meeting will be held online via Webex from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public.

PTAC was created in Idaho code 40-514 to advise ITD on issues and policies regarding public transportation in Idaho. The council is made up of six members representing each of the ITD districts, and participates in planning activities, identifying transportation needs, and promoting coordinated transportation systems.

Meeting topics encompass ITD’s mission of Your Safety, Your Mobility, Your Economic Opportunity, as it relates to public transportation and the funding programs available to transit providers and stakeholders across Idaho.

A copy of PTAC meeting agendas, minutes, and scheduled dates are located on the ITD Public Transportation website, itd.idaho.gov/pt, under the “Advisory” tab.

Those interested in attending the June meeting may call in using the information listed below.

For more information, contact the ITD Public Transportation Office at (208) 334-8533.


Join from the meeting link
https://itdgov.webex.com/itdgov/j.php?MTID=m245a95b8fd998445321b8b4f64864b97

Join by meeting number
Meeting number (access code): 133 895 2273
Meeting password: sKrcP3WgK62

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0003 US Toll
1-844-740-1264 USA Toll Free

Full road closures on ID-55 Smiths Ferry project begin March 15

Spring construction picks back up on Idaho Highway 55 between Smiths Ferry and the Rainbow Bridge Monday, March 15. The Idaho Transportation Department’s project will widen shoulders, add guardrail, and straighten this curvy one-mile stretch of highway to improve safety. Watch the video below to see the project.

 

Earlier this month, crews removed snow and set up construction equipment in the canyon. Starting March 15, travelers should plan for full road closures Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., due to controlled rock blasting needed to widen the road. When ID-55 is not closed, there will be one-way alternating traffic with 15-minute delays. This work schedule is expected through May, when crews will transition into summer operations.

To stay up to date and learn more, visit the project website itdprojects.org/ID55smithsferry.

 

ITD’s Public Transportation Office seeks District 1 & District 4 representatives to help shape transit’s future

This is a pivotal and challenging time in the world of public transportation in Idaho. Citizens have the opportunity to help shape what Idaho’s transit future will look like!

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is seeking representatives for District 1 and District 4 to serve on the Public Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC).

The individual selected for District 1 will represent Bonner, Boundary, Shoshone, Kootenai, and Benewah counties. The individual selected for District 4 will represent Blaine, Camas, Lincoln, Twin Falls, Jerome, Gooding, Cassia, and Minidoka counties.

The PTAC was created to advise the ITD Board on issues related to public transportation in Idaho. It is composed of six members, one representing each of ITD’s administrative districts.

Those interested in applying can find the application form at itd.idaho.gov/pt under the “Advisory” tab. Then, click on either the “District 1 PTAC Application” or the “District 4 PTAC Application” link. Applications will be accepted through April 4. A 30-day public comment period on the candidates will occur starting shortly thereafter.

For more information about PTAC or the application, contact the ITD Public Transportation Office at (208) 334-8533, or email Shauna.Miller@itd.idaho.gov

Public Transportation Advisory Council to meet February 9

The Idaho Transportation Department’s Public Transportation Advisory Council (PTAC) will have its first meeting of 2021 on Tuesday, February 9. The meeting will be held online via Webex from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Subsequent PTAC meetings are scheduled for June 10 and September 23.

The council is made up of six members representing each of the ITD districts. They work together to identify public transportation needs, plan activities, and promote coordinated transportation systems throughout Idaho. The PTAC also discusses funding programs available to transit providers, and advises the ITD Board with public transportation related recommendations.

Meeting agendas and minutes are located on the ITD Public Transportation website, itd.idaho.gov/pt, under the “Advisory” tab.

Those interested in attending the February meeting may call in using the details below.

For more information, contact the ITD Public Transportation Office at (208) 334-8533.


Join from the meeting link
https://itdgov.webex.com/itdgov/j.php?MTID=m7e59b4e4a30806082967c01250b7b327

Join by meeting number
Meeting number (access code): 133 108 6189
Meeting password: j5hAbKVm5k8

Join by phone
+1-415-655-0003 US Toll
1-844-740-1264 USA Toll Free

Idaho Ready: Pack your winter car emergency kit

Winter weather has arrived in Idaho and it’s time to be Idaho Ready on the road. One way you can do that? Keep an emergency kit in your car this winter.

You want to be prepared for anything that comes your way, so here are a few things you should always have with you when traveling.

  • Flashlight — make sure the batteries work
  • Jumper cables — in case your car won’t start, or maybe you need to help someone else
  • Kitty litter can give you some traction if your tires are spinning on ice
  • Chains
  • Small shovel to dig out around your tires or tailpipe
  • Flares and a first aid kit
  • Food and water — pack high protein snacks that will fill you and your family up for a while
  • Anything to keep you warm — a blanket or a small sleeping bag, winter coat, gloves, hat, and waterproof boots
  • Ice scraper

If you run off the road, break down, or simply get stuck during a storm, these items will help keep you warm and safe until help arrives. Remember, always let someone know about your travel plans, especially if you’ll be driving through areas with no cell service. Check the latest road conditions at 511.idaho.gov before you leave.

Idaho Ready: Winter driving insight from ITD’s snow plow operators

In Idaho you have to be prepared for all sorts of winter weather, and that means being Idaho Ready to drive safely. The Idaho Transportation Department wants drivers to have the knowledge and resources to do that, before they hit the road. Read the messages below to gain some winter driving insight from ITD’s own snow plow operators.

Blasting operations underway on ID-55

Rock blasting is underway between Smiths Ferry and the Rainbow Bridge as road construction continues on ID-55.

The goal is to make this narrow, curvy mile-long stretch of state highway safer, by building wider shoulders, adding guardrail, and straightening the road.

140,000 cubic yards of rock need to come off the canyon, and it’s happening one controlled blast at a time. How do they do it? It takes a lot of work and careful planning.

Strategically spaced holes are drilled into the rock differing in size and depth depending on the situation, then the explosives are placed inside.

“We’re using a nitro glycerin based dynamite as a primer, and then we use ammonium nitrate as a blasting agent,” said Blast Operator Ryan Miller. “Each hole is timed, a 40th of a second. We shot that in a V, and the reason it stayed on the hill is because we shot the center first, and kind of sucked it uphill.”

Each blasting design plan is closely reviewed.

“The whole idea is to move the rock in the direction we want it to. We don’t want to launch into the river, fly rock is our enemy,” Miller added.

Through late November, weather permitting, the work zone is closed to traffic every Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. so crews can safely blast and haul away the rock.

Drivers are urged to plan around the closures or use US-95 as a detour.

“We don’t want people or cars traveling through the work zone during blasting. It’s also an incredibly tight work zone with the river off to the east and the rock faces out to the west. So giving the contractor that four hours is really letting them be as efficient as possible,” said Project Engineer Alex Deduck.

Steel containers and temporary barrier keep the falling rock from getting in the travel lane, and protect the crews working in this steep canyon. When the road is not fully closed, one lane is open to alternating traffic.

“Now that we’ve reduced it to one lane it’s even tighter, and just a hard area to work in,” Deduck said.

This winter, construction will pause and both lanes will be open.

In the spring, blasting picks back up with full road closures Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and during the busy summer, one lane will be open to alternating traffic Monday through Friday morning. Both lanes will be open Friday afternoon through Sunday.

You can learn more about the project and sign up for updates at itdprojects.org/ID55smithsferry. The project is expected to finish in late fall 2022.

For the latest road conditions, be sure to download the Idaho 511 app or visit 511.idaho.gov.

Crews successfully slide new I-84 bridge into place

demolition of the blacks creek bridge begins

Normally, bridges moving is not something an engineer wants to see, but this weekend construction crews slid the first of two new bridges at the Interstate 84 Blacks Creek Interchange sixty feet into place — where it will stay for decades to come.

The slide-in-place maneuver was designed to minimize impacts to the heavily traveled Interstate. Crews construct the bulk of the new bridge right next to the existing structure. When ready, the old bridge is demolished and the replacement structure is slid into place.

“The driving force behind choosing a lateral bridge slide method was our focus on the people we serve and their ability to get where they need to go.” said Patrick Kelly, the ITD project manager overseeing the work. “We were able to keep lanes open during the entire bridge construction process. Once it was ready, we closed the eastbound lanes, demolished the old structure, pushed the new bridge into place, and are wrapping up construction on the adjacent roadway. In the end, we will have closed interstate lanes of traffic for weeks rather than months.”

The whole process, from demolition to reopening traffic, will take two to three weeks. Normal bridge replacements can take several months. With the new bridge in place, crews have just a few final items to complete, including work at the bridge abutments and repaving approaches.

To get the bridge from temporary footings to its permanent home, crews lay down Teflon pads and cover them with dish soap. Then, heavy machinery pushes and pulls the structure into place. It’s a surprisingly effective way to reduce friction and easily move the massive structure.

“Seeing how smoothly the bridge slid into place was very satisfying.” said Kelly. “It has been months of planning, preparation, and a lot of hard work to get to this point. The crews from Knife River have done a wonderful job and should be very proud of the work they’ve done.”

This method has been used before in the Gem State when, in 2014, the Lardo Bridge on ID-55 in McCall was replaced. There, as it is at Blacks Creek, the highway is an essential connection and lengthy disruptions are very impactful.

The second bridge for the westbound lanes has been constructed next to the old structure. Crews are currently finishing up the eastbound side of the interchange, including work on ramps and Blacks Creek Road. They will be ready to slide the westbound bridge into place in early August using the same method.

For more information about the project, visit ITDprojects.org/i-84-blacks-creek-interchange/.

Intersection closures and girder placement on ID-55 in Marsing Oct. 1, 2019

crane places girders for bridge

Several intersections on Idaho 55 will be closed beginning Oct. 1. Construction crews are placing concrete gutters along the roadway. Access at each intersection’s will remain closed for 2-3 days (weather permitting) while the concrete hardens.

What to expect:

  • All work will be done during daytime hours.
  • Work is anticipated to take approximately two weeks to complete (weather permitting).
  • Work will be conducted between Bruneau Hwy. to Edwards St. on the north; Bruneau Hwy. to 9th St. on the south.
  • Side streets will be closed to all traffic while work is being done and while concrete hardens. Closures will be staggered.
  • Major intersections will be reduced down to one lane, but will remain open at all times. Steel plates will be placed over the gutter work while concrete hardens.

Flaggers will assist with the gutter operations at the major intersections.

The contractor will be placing the next set of girders tonight, Oct. 1. What to expect:

  • ID-55 and the Snake River Bridge will be closed for up to 30 minutes each time one of the girders are being placed.
  • Sunny Slope Road southbound will be reduced to one lane between Lowell and True roads. The lanes will be restricted from noon to 2:00 am each night to stage the bridge girders.
  • Work will generally be done between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am.
  • The work will be noisy.

I-84 in Nampa will be detoured overnight Sept. 16-19 for work on Karcher Overpass

Karcher Overpass under Construction

Interstate 84 will be closed overnight between the Karcher/Midland and Northside interchanges on Monday, Sept. 16 through Thursday, Sept. 19. The closures will allow crews to safely remove the wooden forms that temporarily supported the new bridge deck this summer.

  • Westbound I-84 will be closed for two nights – Sept. 16 and Sept. 17. Each night I-84 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Eastbound I-84 will be closed for two nights – Sept. 18 and Sept. 19. Each night I-84 will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

During the four overnight closures, motorists will exit I-84 at Karcher/Midland or Northside and follow a detour along Karcher Road. Flaggers will direct traffic. View the detour map.

Lane restrictions and flaggers will also be in place on the Northside Boulevard between the ramps each night while crews begin to work on the new bridge.

The new Karcher Overpass is on schedule to re-open later this fall. Reconstruction of the Northside Interchange has begun and will continue through early 2021.

For more information about the reconstruction of I-84 in Canyon County, visit itdprojects.org/84Corridor. To receive construction updates; text 84corridor to 555888. “Drive Idaho,” ITD’s new podcast series on all things I-84 in Canyon County, is available for download on Spotify and Apple Podcast and other major podcast sharing sites.