US-20 Exit 332 in Rexburg to fully close Wednesday, May 29 for construction

Exit 332 on U.S. Highway 20 in Rexburg will completely close for one month beginning next Wednesday, May 29 to allow crews to quickly build a new unique diverging diamond interchange (DDI) that will greatly improve the flow of traffic.

All ramps at this exit and University Boulevard between the ramps will be closed to traffic and detoured to nearby interchanges. Through traffic on US-20 will be unaffected during construction.

Detours include Exit 328 at Thorton and Main Street Exit 333 in Rexburg. A temporary signal has been set up at Exit 333 to accommodate additional traffic. Access to businesses near Exit 332 will remain open with signage in place to direct drivers.

“Closing the exit allows crews to work at a significantly faster rate. Our goal is to have this interchange reopened before the Fourth of July,” Resident Engineer and Project Manager Conner Huffaker said.

Motorists should use caution and be aware of congestion. Crews will coordinate with emergency responders to ensure access through the closed construction zone when needed.

Once Exit 332 is reopened, work to construct the same DDI design at Exit 333 will begin. The closure of Exit 333 is expected to begin late July or early August.

More details about these projects can be found at itdprojects.idaho.gov/pages/us20rexburg. Also stay up to date on Idaho road conditions by visiting 551.idaho.gov, calling 5-1-1 or downloading the app.

Road repairs on US-20 west of Idaho Falls

Route for Mill and Inlay

Mill and Inlay project west of Idaho Falls

Road construction will commence on US-20 for approximately 13 miles from milepost 301 to milepost 288 west of Idaho Falls

Work will encompass repairing the right wheel path with a cold mill and inlay process. This project is to make repairs to the existing roadway and extend the lifespan of the highway.  

Road work will take place between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.  The project is expected to last approximately 2 weeks.  

Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds and traffic control with a pilot car to guide traffic through the work zone. Drivers are encouraged to watch for flaggers in the work zone. As construction continues, drivers should plan their commute accordingly. 

Please check 511.idaho.gov or the 511 app for the most recent information on road work.

Public invited to view latest information on study to improve US-20 from Ashton to SH-87

Public meeting

 
RIGBY — The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will host two public meetings in late June to share project developments for the U.S. Highway 20 (US-20) corridor between Ashton and the State Highway 87 (SH-87) junction.

These meetings will provide an update on the study and gather feedback from the public.

Welcome messages will be given at 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. and the remainder of each meeting will be an open house, including visualizations and computer mapping stations. The format and content will be the same at both meetings. Please plan to attend at one of the following locations:


US-20 Corridor
Summer shot of US-20

Ashton Community Center and Library
925 Main Street | Ashton, ID 83420

June 26, 2023 | 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


Island Park EMS Building
4378 County Circle | Island Park, ID 83429

June 27, 2023 | 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


For those who can’t attend in person, an online meeting will be available from June 27 – July 13, 2023 at itdprojects.org/projects/us-20-ashton-to-sh-87-jct/.

Extreme Cold May Result in Additional Road Closures

A snowy highway in East Idaho

RIGBY – As extreme cold continues in East Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department is asking motorists to plan ahead and check the 511.idaho.gov website before hitting the roads. “It’s vitally important that drivers are paying close attention to current conditions,” said ITD Public Information Officer Justin Smith. “We always try to keep roads open, but when conditions become unsafe for our plow drivers we have to close the roads to protect everyone.”

Smith also noted that drivers checking the 511 website or using the newly updated version of the 511 app might see a webcam of one portion of the road that looks fine, but other sections may not be safe. “With the changes in altitude at places like the Ashton Hill conditions can be vastly different from Idaho Falls or Henry’s Lake.”

Those changing conditions can also be dangerous. The National Weather Service announced over the weekend that wind chills are dropping to -15°F to -40°F. At -30°F exposed skin can freeze in as little as 10 minutes. That means motorists must be sure to have their vehicle serviced. A poorly maintained vehicle can leave someone stranded.

AAA notes (https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/winter-driving-tips/) several other precautions motorists should take:

  • Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing (including additional clothing for every passenger), a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
  • Stay home and only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.

It is especially important to consider children, the disabled, and elderly who may be passengers. “Sometimes we forget that children and vulnerable adults do not have the ability to maintain body temperature. Kids like to go out without enough cold weather protection, but parents should ensure there are coats, hats, gloves, and other necessities are available if needed,” Smith said.

This winter has become more challenging as District 6 has lost a number of plow drivers leaving 17 vacant positions open. “We do have a few relief plow drivers to help with the vacancies, but it’s not enough to take the pressure off,” said Bryan Young. “This number includes employees who are retiring or are out for extended health reasons. We do have a few new hires, but they will not be 100% this winter.”

The vacant positions may make it necessary to close roads sooner than motorists may be used to. When fully staffed multiple plow drivers can work the same highway from both directions. However, with fewer plows on the road it may not be possible to keep a road open. This is especially the case where snowfall is heavy and strong winds are blowing.

ITD has also been dealing with numerous plow strikes and drivers making dangerous maneuvers around plows. So far 13 plows have been hit this season. Most of those incidents were related to drivers going too fast for conditions and passing plows on the right.

 

ITD is taking another look at potential alternatives for US-20; invites public to give feedback

RIGBY – The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) invites the public to participate in in-person or online meetings in early December for the US-20 corridor between Ashton and SH-87 junction. Meetings are scheduled for the following evenings:

Monday, Dec. 5
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Ashton Community
Center and Library
925 Main Street Ashton, ID 83420

Tuesday, Dec. 6
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Island Park EMS Building
4378 County Circle
Island Park, ID 83429

For those who can’t attend in person, an online meeting will be available between Dec. 6-23 at itdprojects.org/projects/us-20-ashton-to-sh-87-jct/.

ITD is taking a second look at alternating passing lanes and other potential roadway improvements as part of the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study initiated in late 2021.

The format of the meetings will be an open house and will include computer stations featuring project mapping. Please plan to attend one of two public meetings anytime from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Both in-person as well as the online meeting will all share the same information, and no formal presentation will be given.

Comments on the project are always welcome but can be best utilized if received by Dec. 23, 2022.

Public invited to attend public scoping meeting for I-15/US-20 Connector Study on October 18, 2022 in Idaho Falls

RIGBY -The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will host a public scoping meeting for the I-15/US-20 Connector project on October 18, 2022.

ITD is initiating an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the I-15/US-20 Connector project. The EIS will analyze three alternatives (E3, H2 and the no-build) from the Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study.

This meeting is an opportunity for the public to review the outcomes of the PEL study and provide comments as the project moves into the next phase. Public input will be an important part of choosing the final project that best fits the community’s needs.

The meeting will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Snake River Event Center in Idaho Falls. Presentations are scheduled for every half hour beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a guided tour and an open house. ITD is asking participants to please consider a later presentation slot to avoid crowds at the start of the meeting.

For those unable to attend in person, an online meeting will be available at http://i15us20connector.com from October 11 through October 25, 2022. Please submit comments by October 26, 2022.

For questions or to learn more, please call 208.813.0027 or visit http://i15us20connector.com

 

Ashton construction traffic pattern changes today

Please be aware that there will be a change in the current traffic pattern for the construction work at the Intersection of US-20 and SH-47 in Ashton, ID starting on Tuesday October 4, 2022.

US-20 traffic will be shifted to the East side of the road.

SH-47 will have periodic traffic control, but will generally have little construction activity.

E. 1300 N will be closed to US-20 traffic from October 4th to October 17th. Signs will detour local traffic onto N 3400 E.

All businesses on US-20 will remain open and signs will direct traffic.

US-20 and SH-47 will remain open to traffic in all directions.

Please watch for equipment and workmen, follow all traffic signs and flaggers, and reduce speeds to posted limits as traffic control and safety devices will be changing often to accommodate construction activities.
We appreciate your patience during this construction period. If you have any questions, please contact our office at (208) 523-6600.

Ashton Blasting to Resume Next Week

Construction in Ashton

ASHTON – Beginning Wednesday, September 7 the next phase of the US-20 and SH-47 project at Ashton will begin. The contractor will periodically be blasting rock that is under the roadway between September 7 and September 13. The blasting will occur in the construction area and motorists should anticipate longer than normal delays.

In addition, there will be a change in traffic pattern to accommodate work at the intersection. SH-47 traffic will be shifted onto the north side of the road with the south side closed for construction. US-20 and SH-47 will remain open to traffic in all directions.

Motorist should take care to watch for equipment and workmen, follow all signs and flaggers, and reduce speeds to posted limits.

Questions and concerns can be directed to HK Contractors office at (208) 523-6600.

 

View of SH-47 looking toward intersection with US-20

Blasting Operations to Begin July 15 in Ashton

Ashton Intersection

 
ASHTON – As part of the construction work at the intersection of US-20 and SH-47 in Ashton, the contractor will be blasting rock under the roadway. The blasting operation will occur periodically between July 15 and July 19 in the closed portion of the roadway.

There will be traffic control flaggers on US-20 and SH-47 to manage traffic during these operations.

Motorists should anticipate longer than normal delays during this time. ITD asks all drivers to watch for equipment and workers, follow all traffic signs and flaggers, and reduce speeds to posted limits. It is essential during this operation that motorists keep themselves and workers safe.

The US-20 / SH-47 intersection project consists of a stoplight, new curb and sidewalks, storm sewer work, and pavement. Work is scheduled to be completed in October.

Questions can be directed to HK Contractors at (208) 523-6600.

Construction to begin in July at Ashton

Ashton Intersection

 
ASHTON – Beginning July 6 the Idaho Transportation Department will commence work on two projects at Ashton. The first project, at the intersection of US-20 and SH-47 in Ashton, will consist of extensive work to improve safety and traffic flow. The second project will be a pavement overlay along SH-47 beginning near North Fremont High School and continuing to Bear Gulch.

The US-20 / SH-47 intersection project will consist of a stoplight, new curb and sidewalks, storm sewer work, and pavement. Work is scheduled to be completed in October. Traffic patterns will change periodically to allow for construction.

A public meeting will be held on Wednesday June 29, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ashton City hall for those that wish to discuss construction plans at the intersection and express concerns.

The paving project on SH-47 east of Ashton will last for approximately 15 days. Crews will be microsurfacing the roadway to improve and protect the road surface. During work there will be single lane closures and pilot cars to control traffic flow.

Motorists are asked to watch for workers and equipment, follow all traffic signs and flaggers, and reduce speeds to posted limits. Traffic control and safety devices will be changing often to accommodate construction activities.

Citizens with questions regarding the US-20 / SH-47 intersection can contact HK Contractors at (208) 523-6600.

Those with questions regarding the SH-47 microsurfacing project can call the Idaho Transportation Department District 6 office at (208) 745-7781.