Improvements to modernize the I-86/I-15 System Interchange in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area will involve road, ramp and bridge upgrades at the junction of the two interstates, along with building a new separated pedestrian/bicycle path.
The Idaho Transportation Board voted to accelerate the improvement of several major roadways during its February monthly meeting in Boise, Ida. The projects selected for construction starting this summer will modernize aging infrastructure, improve safety and reduce congestion.
Four of the largest projects include:
- State Highway 16 (SH-16) from Interstate 84 to Chinden Boulevard;
- I-86/I-15 system interchange in Pocatello/Chubbuck;
- I-90 and State Highway 41 (SH-41) interchange in Post Falls;
- U.S. 20/26 from Interstate 84 to Middleton Road in the Treasure Valley.
To address the state's rapid growth, the Idaho Legislature passed a historic transportation revenue package last May signed by Governor Brad Little as part of his "Leading Idaho" initiative. The funding is already being used for the planning and design of several projects. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will accelerate bond-funded construction projects in the next upcoming months.
"Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation," said Gov. Brad Little. "To keep up with the demands of growth, these funds will help save Idahoans' time, keep us safe on our roads and make our state's economy even stronger. I appreciate the work of the Idaho Transportation Board, the department and the Legislature for acting quickly to put this money to work with projects that will benefit the state."
Board Chairman Bill Moad is pleased with how fast ITD has designed and advanced projects for construction – less than a year after the funding was approved.
"The Transportation Board wants the department to take advantage of funding opportunities to accelerate projects," said Moad. "It's our goal to put this money to work as quickly as possible to increase safety, improve mobility and create economic opportunity for every Idahoan."
Last year's legislation increased the transfers to $80 million dollars a year into the Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation (TECM) fund that was created in 2017. Leveraging these TECM funds as debt service on bonds could yield as much as $1.6 billion of improvements statewide.
This bond issuance will be for up to $325 million in funding. It will be the first of several TECM bond sales. Projects selected for future TECM dollars will come from 13 corridors the board is targeting across the state.
SH-16, I-84 to U.S. 20/26 ($129 million)
SH-16 is a new corridor that will be two lanes in each direction between I-84 and U.S. 20/26. This project will greatly improve mobility and address growth concerns by providing a much needed north/south freeway in the heart of the Treasure Valley.
I-86/I-15 System Interchange ($115.5 million)
Improvements to modernize the I-86/I-15 System Interchange in the Pocatello/Chubbuck area will involve road, ramp and bridge upgrades at the junction of the two interstates, along with building a new separated pedestrian/bicycle path. This project will replace aging bridges within this interchange and modernize the roadway to improve safety and traffic flow.
I-90, SH-41 Interchange ($82.5 million)
The I-90 and SH-41 interchange in Post Falls will be upgraded to a new design that will be safer and will reduce congestion. The I-90 westbound off-ramp will no longer curve, and the ramps will come together and be controlled by one signal at a single-point urban interchange. This will resolve major congestion and safety issues that drivers experience.
U.S. 20/26, I-84 to Middleton Road ($41 million)
Chinden Boulevard (U.S. 20/26) will be widened to four lanes between I-84 and Middleton Road starting this summer, and design is underway to widen the remainder between Middleton Road and Star Road to four lanes. Within the next few years the entire corridor will provide a much needed east/west connection across the heart of the Treasure Valley improving safety and increasing mobility.
Along with those construction projects, the Transportation Board approved bond funds for several planning and design projects, including I-84, Centennial Interchange to Franklin Interchange, SH-55 Farmway to Middleton Rd. and I-84, Burley and Heyburn Interchanges.
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