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ITD May Begin Construction Later This Year At I-84/U.S. 93

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By Paul Johnson

Twin Falls, Idaho (KMVT-TV) The State Transportation Department said today that they would like to complete Stage 2 construction at the U.S. 93.I-84 junction. That plan calls for a new eastbound interchange. The westbound portion of the interchange was completed in 2003. There was no construction date set for this project. Now construction is expected to begin in late 2012 costing around $14.7 million. That is, if the transportation board meeting in September, approve the plan.

It was announced in the following news release issued this afternoon by the Idaho Transportation Department.

The ITD Board today approved a resolution that will expedite approximately $180 million of highway construction projects in key corridors to improve mobility, safety and economic opportunity for Idahoans.

“With low interest rates, the need to improve safety, grow the economy through construction jobs, remove bottlenecks to commerce and improve traffic flow, the board decided unanimously to advance these projects,” said Jerry Whitehead, chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board. “Saving money and putting it right back on the road reflects well on the people and management of the Transportation Department.”

The projects will be advanced through:
• Department efficiencies, cost savings, and cash management
• Lower-than-anticipated costs in all of the department’s construction programs
• Inflation and interest savings, and a
• Transportation board decision to issue GARVEE bonds totaling $80 million.
Projects selected for advancement in the Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP) include:
• Improvements to U.S. 2 in Sandpoint that will improve safety and mobility
• Realigning seven miles of U.S. 95 from Thorn Creek to Moscow
• Reconstructing the Meridian, Broadway and Gowen interchanges on I-84 in the Treasure Valley
• Restoring pavement on I-84 between the Meridian Interchange and Five Mile Road
• Completing the I-84/U.S. 93 interchange near Twin Falls
• Constructing a new interchange on U.S. 20 in eastern Idaho
• Adding a turn bay on Idaho 39 west of Blackfoot
Interest rates for Grant Anticipated Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds are currently 4 percent, but are subject to the prevailing rate when bonds are issued.

The Idaho Legislature authorized the Transportation Board to issue up to $855 million in GARVEE bonds that allow Idaho to borrow money for highway projects, then repay it with future federal highway funds.

Project selection was based on readiness, pavement condition, congestion and safety factors.

U.S. 2, Lake Street to Cedar Street, Sandpoint: This project straightens curves on a ½-mile stretch of U.S. 2 in Sandpoint. Estimated cost for the project is $7.5 million. There was no construction date set for this project. Construction now is expected to begin in 2013.

U.S. 95, Thorn Creek to Moscow: This project realigns seven miles of U.S. 95 between Thorn Creek and Moscow. The board allocated $20 million that will be combined with $20 million previously committed by Congress. Initially there was no construction date set for this project. Construction now is scheduled to begin in 2015. Estimated cost for construction is between $40 million to $45 million.

I-84, Meridian Road Interchange: This project reconstructs the interchange on I-84 at Meridian Road. There was no construction date set for this project. It now is expected to begin late in the 2013-14 construction season. Estimated cost for construction is $40 million. (Partial GARVEE funding)

I-84, Meridian Interchange to Five Mile Road: This project will restore four miles of pavement in both the east- and westbound lanes. Construction was scheduled for 2016 but now will be advanced to late 2012. Estimated cost for the project is $20 million.

I-84, Broadway Avenue Interchange: This project reconstructs the interchange on I-84 at Broadway Avenue. There was no construction date set. Construction now is scheduled to begin in 2014. Estimated cost for construction is $44 million. (Partial GARVEE funding)

I-84, Gowen Road Interchange: This project reconstructs the interchange on I-84 at Gowen Road. There was no construction date set for this project. Construction is expected to begin in 2014. Estimated cost for construction is $28 million. (Partial GARVEE funding)

Junction Interstate I-84/U.S. 93 Interchange Stage 2: This project constructs a new eastbound interchange. The westbound portion of the interchange was completed in 2003. There was no construction date set for this project. Now construction is expected to begin in late 2012. Estimated cost for the project is $14.7 million.

U.S. 20, Thornton Interchange: This project constructs a new interchange on U.S. 20 near 4700 South or Smith Road. There was no construction date set for this project. Construction now is expected to begin in 2017. The cost of the project is estimated at $16.9 million.

Idaho 39, Thomas Road Turn Lane: This project adds a turn lane on Idaho 39 at Thomas Lane west of Blackfoot. Construction was scheduled for 2016, but now will begin in 2014. Cost for the project is estimated at $500,000.

The public will be able to view and comment on the proposed projects in the state’s five-year ITIP by visiting the transportation department website, itd.idaho.gov. The project list will be available soon. In addition to making comments online, individuals can mail comments to:
Public Involvement Coordinator
ITD Office of Communications
3311 W. State Street
Boise, ID 83707-1129
Comments also can be e-mailed to: comments@itd.idaho.gov


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