The Idaho Transportation Department will begin work April 1, 2019 on two bridge construction projects along US-20. The new crossings will be located over Willow Creek in Camas County (MP 164) and Rock Creek in Blaine County (MP 173).
During construction, ITD will remove aging culverts and surrounding earthwork at both locations, and construct new crossings over the waterways.
“Due to age and corrosion of the pipelines, both culverts are in need of replacement,” said ITD Project Manager Brock Dillé. “We analyzed multiple options regarding these crossings before determining that bridge designs would have the best long term value for both Willow Creek and Rock Creek.”
The structure spanning Willow Creek will be a 170-foot steel girder bridge while the structure spanning Rock Creek will be a 159-foot concrete girder bridge. As an added result of the forthcoming bridge structures, ITD will also be able to restore the streams to a more natural condition, which in turn should have a positive effect on the surrounding ecosystem.
Construction on the crossings will occur simultaneously. Each work zone is anticipated to encompass one mile with approximately seven miles between each site.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane in the construction zone with width restrictions anticipated. Temporary traffic lights will be in place throughout the duration of the project and reduced speed limits will also be in effect.
ITD and the Idaho State Police advise motorists to slow down and pay attention when driving in work zones, where increased speeding fines and other penalties apply. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and dial 5-1-1 or visit 511.idaho.gov for information on the state highway or interstate system.
As the countdown to the August 21 solar eclipse approaches, the state of Idaho is gearing up for a potentially large influx of visitors that will be descending into southern Idaho to view this natural phenomenon.
In preparation for the event, the Idaho Transportation Department is working with other state and local agencies actively preparing and organizing a statewide plan, which includes being responsive, ready to assist law enforcement and most importantly, reducing impacts to travelers before, during and after the eclipse
“We know this will be a big draw for tourism in Idaho and most of the people are going to use our roads to get there and see it,” said ITD Chief Engineer Kimbol Allen. “We want visitors to have an enjoyable time in Idaho. We want to make sure that we do everything we can do have the roads open and ready to allow traffic to get in and back out after the eclipse.”
ITD is sharing tips with travelers on our website-as well as on overhead message boards and through the media that focus on safety, preparedness and travel plans. Most importantly, ITD encourages everyone to be patient, be responsible and give yourself enough time for travel prior to and after the eclipse.
We want our resources out informing people about what’s happening and what they can expect and what they can do about it and where the can be be, safely, to enjoy the eclipse.
The Idaho Department of Commerce has also devoted a statewide website with links to local planning resources, preparedness information and eclipse materials.
As Idaho prepares to emerge from a historic winter that brought the most snow many areas had seen in decades, a new set of challenges face our road maintenance crews.
Hillsides saturated by snow and rain can release rockslides given the slightest provocation. Moisture coming in on the top of existing snowpack bring the threat of springtime avalanches. Suddenly higher temperatures lead to extensive melting, flood watches statewide and water-over-the-roadway concerns.
And drivers emerge from winter hibernation to return to area highways. It is as critical as ever for motorists to have access to current travel information, available at 511.idaho.gov.
Meanwhile, ITD crews will be constantly monitoring our state roads, looking for break-up, potholes, hazards, and general deterioration. The department is committed to removing or repairing any problem areas as soon as possible.
As winter weather continues in the region, drivers in north Idaho are now seeing blue as ITD maintenance crews begin using a new blue salt product. The new salt may represent the next stage in the department’s efforts to improve road-clearing efforts and resulting public safety.
According to the manufacturer, Saltworx, the blue salt is less corrosive than traditional salt, and less of the new blue salt is needed to achieve the same results that traditional salt can provide, so it is potentially a cost savings as well.
“We are just experimenting with it at this stage, but it has the potential to save money, some wear-and-tear on vehicles, and most importantly, be more effective on the roads,” said ITD’s north Idaho management assistant, Mike Lenz.
The new blue salt will be used on 1,500 miles of area roads across the region.
As a winter for the ages rages on, potholes are developing in roadway surfaces across the state. Record precipitation and multiple freeze-thaw cycles are causing distress in many of the highways we all rely on for safe travel. ITD maintenance crews are maintaining roadways and fixing potholes when possible.