New traffic pattern in place next week at Salt Lake Interchange project

Image of construction on the Salt Lake Interchange project

As early as Thursday (Oct. 15), traffic will shift on Interstate 84/86 at the Salt Lake Interchange project. Motorists traveling toward Pocatello from Burley on I-84 will be detoured toward Salt Lake. They will take Exit 228 at Yale Road and then enter I-84 westbound and continue on to I-86 toward Pocatello.

“This detour will allow us to complete demolition of the aged eastbound bridge structure.” ITD Project Manager Travis Hitchcock said. “This will be the final demolition phase for this project.”

In addition to the Yale Road detour, westbound traffic progressing from I-86 to I-84 will now continue through the work zone in their designated lane of travel.

“These are new traffic patterns which replace others previously in place throughout this project,” stated Hitchcock. “It’s important that drivers pay close attention to signage and message boards that will be in place to safely direct them through the area.”

Traffic will remain reduced to a single lane in each direction. Drivers should continue to anticipate reduced speeds through the work zone and watch for crews and heavy equipment.

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

Evening traffic on I-84 in Jerome County to experience intermittent delays beginning next week for controlled median blasting

Image of median work on Interstate 84

On Monday (July 20) work in the median of Interstate 84 will require traffic to be intermittently delayed. This is part of the interstate rehabilitation project that has been underway since May of this year. Carefully controlled blasting is required to loosen the hard rock in the median.

“We completed crossovers earlier this month and are now moving into the next phase of the project which entails storm water and draining construction,” said ITD South-central Idaho Project Manager Brock Dillé. “This phase of the project requires us to blast portions of the median which will have a short term impact on traffic.”

For the safety of drivers, traffic must be stopped in the surrounding area while blasting is underway.

“There are four locations in the median that we need to address,” stated Dillé. “We expect these activities to take place on various days between July 20 to August 20. Blasting may produce delays for motorists up to 60 minutes although we anticipate the delays to be much shorter.”

In addition to traffic being stopped on I-84, the interstate on ramps at Exit 165 eastbound, 168 westbound and 173 westbound will also be closed while blasting occurs. A portion of the work will require closures on the north and south frontage roads (Bob Barton Road and East Frontage Road) as well.

After each blast, crews will ensure the roadway is safe and free of all debris before reopening the highway to traffic.

Dillé explains that timing of this work is very important. “We have to blast during daylight hours, but we are very conscious of the impact it will have on the traveling public, which is why we are undertaking this task in the evening when traffic on the interstate is past its peak hours.”

Blasting will not begin before 7:30 pm.

ITD is asking motorists to consider using alternate routes while this activity is underway. Electronic message boards and signage will be placed on the interstate several days in advance of each event. Motorists are advised to adhere to signs and pay attention to flaggers and pace cars that will be utilized to slow traffic on the interstate.

The general contractor is Western Construction of Boise.

Change in traffic on US-93 in Jerome County starting this week

Crews and heavy equipment work along US-93 in Jerome County.

Traffic flow is expected to change as early as Friday, June 19 on US-93 between 200 S Road and 300 S Road in Jerome County. This is part of the ongoing US-93 widening project, which will see the highway transition from two lanes to four to increase mobility and traffic flow in the area.

“We will be placing temporary traffic signals at both ends of the project later this week,” said ITD South-central Idaho Project Manager Sam Purser. “While these signals are in place, crews will tie the newly constructed northbound lanes into the existing highway.”

Temporary signals will be utilized for approximately three to four weeks.

“We are not anticipating any additional intersection closures at this time,” stated Purser. “If we find closures are necessary for safety of the traveling public, we will implement them accordingly.”

Motorists can anticipate minor delays and are encouraged to plan ahead if commuting through the area. In addition to the signals, construction signage, candlesticks, and barrels will also be in place to safely direct those traveling through the work zone.

Drivers are advised to use caution and watch for workers and heavy equipment entering and exiting the highway.

“This project will improve safety at the US-93/200 South intersection for both passenger and commercial vehicles,” explained Purser. “The end result will be a divided highway similar to what drivers encounter two miles south of this area.”

Idaho Materials and Construction is the prime contractor for this project.

For more information visit

Paving work to occur next week on US-93 in Jerome County

US-93 & 500 S in Jerome County

Paving operations are expected to begin next Tuesday (May 26) on a short section of US-93 just north of Flying J in Jerome County.

Weather permitting, work on this project is anticipated to last eight days.

Traffic will be reduced to a single lane in each direction throughout the work zone. The current traffic signal at 500 S Road will still be in operation. Flaggers may also be present during certain stages of the project.

Motorists should anticipate minor delays and watch for reduced speeds and workers throughout the work zone.

The general contractor is Idaho Materials and Construction.

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.


Drivers can expect increased traffic delays during Salmon Falls Creek Bridge work on US-30

Next Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 30 & 31) the Idaho Transportation Department is planning to place a bridge deck on the newly constructed Salmon Falls Creek Bridge near Banbury Hot Springs in Twin Falls County.

“While the deck is being placed, motorists will encounter longer than normal delays,” says ITD Project Manager Kenny Lively. “Although most construction delays have been minimal, this upcoming work could result in wait times upwards of 30-40 minutes. As such, we are recommending motorists utilize an alternate route during these days.”

Weather permitting, placement of the deck is expected to take place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. In the mornings and evenings, when work is not underway, the area will be open to single lane traffic with a temporary traffic signal in place.

This is part of a larger bridge replacement project that has been underway since June of this year. When completed, the new structure will be both wider and longer – accommodating two 12-foot lanes in each direction, and incorporating a new left-turn lane as well.

Construction on the project is expected to be complete by early summer of next year.

The general contractor is RSCI from Boise.

ITD reminds drivers of safety in work zones during construction season

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) reminds motorists to drive carefully through work zones — for their own safety and the safety of construction workers.

ITD has more than a dozen projects planned this year in District Four. Every project is different in terms of road pattern changes and reduced speed limits.

Each year, ITD draws special attention to safe driving in or near work zones during Work Zone Awareness Week, April 8-12.

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.”

Union Pacific Railroad Bridge Replacement in Gooding County

US-30 Construction

As early as mid-February, US-30 west of Bliss to Interstate 84 will be closed while the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge undergoes replacement. Motorists traveling to Bliss via I-84 will need to use Exit 141.

Construction work will include installment of a new box culvert as well as utility relocation. The new bridge structure will have an increased width to allow for larger vehicles to pass. Approximately 1.5 miles of US-30 will also be reconstructed as part of this project.

Subject to weather conditions, work is expected to be complete this fall. The railroad will continue to be operational throughout construction.

Western Construction, Inc. from Boise is the contractor for this project.

The Idaho Transportation Department is responsible for all highways on the State Highway System – interstates, state highways and U.S. routes. All other roads are under the jurisdiction of the local, city or county entity.

Solar Eclipse Traffic Report

Traffic Congestion Generic

UPDATE: Tuesday, August 22

Here are the preliminary numbers of total cars traveling to and through Idaho for the 2017 Solar Eclipse:  Our traffic counters near the state borders counted 449,530 cars entering the state between August 18 and August 21. This number was an increase of 71,140 during that same time frame last year when 361,270 cars were counted entering Idaho at those same locations.  ITD estimates more than 160,000 visitors came from out of state for the event (see methodology below).

The bulk of the visitors came from Utah and Oregon. Areas where the traffic was busiest include I-15 between Utah and Idaho Falls, US-93 near Craters of the Moon, US-20 near Arco, ID-95 from Payette to Riggins, and ID-55 north of Eagle.

Many locations in the mountains saw a steady stream of increased traffic throughout the weekend, up until the morning of the eclipse. Monday morning, routes along the I-15 corridor saw the biggest spike for day-of traffic. Travel home did cause congestion along the above routes. Most of that cleared up by 5:00 p.m. Monday, though congestion lingered on I-15 until 9:30 p.m.

ITD experienced an increase in visitors to our online resources, including the eclipse web page and blog posts. Total unique visitors to these pages is 82,000.

Traffic Counter Location†2017 Eclipse Traffic‡2016 Comparison§% Traffic Change
Banks-Lowman Hwy78506220+26%
I-15, Pocatello (Exit 63)*11272085840+31%
I-15, Dubois (near MT)*2421017120+41%
I-15 Blackfoot (Exit 98)129280106430+21%
I-84, W. of Caldwell (Ext 13)*116800100740+16%
I-86, btw Twin Falls and American Falls (Exit 15)3565036590-3%
ID-21, Robie Creek1761014490+22%
ID-33, WY Border*3361031610+6%
ID-55, Eagle5622051000+10%
ID-55, Banks3033030200+0%
ID-75, N. of Shoshone1911016250+18%
ID-75, N. of Hailey6088056990+7%
US-20, NE of Ashton*3787035570+6%
US-20, W. of Idaho Falls99509720+2%
US-20/26, E. of Arco1908012320+55%
US-30, W. of Lava Hot Springs2751027860-1%
US-91, UT Border*3596032210+12%
US-93, Craters of the Moon150807900+91%
US-93, NV Border (S. Rogerson)*2426019280+26%
US-95, N. of Salmon River Bridge*1584011810+34%
US-95, Fruitland*4826044210+9%
* Site used to calculate out of state visitors
† For an interactive map of the traffic counter locations, click here.
‡ Counts ran from 11:00am 08/17/17 to Noon 08/21/17.
§ Counts ran from 11:00am 08/15/16 to Noon 08/19/16

Visitor Methodology

This number is meant only to be an estimate of visitors to Idaho for the 2017 solar eclipse and is not intended to be authoritative. ITD’s method for estimating visitor numbers took the change in traffic count from 2016 to 2017 at border locations (marked with *), multiplied by 2.5 people per average vehicle, minus 5% for local traffic. This method does not capture the number of visitors who may have flown into Idaho via commercial flights or backcountry airstrips.