Work Continues On Idaho 75 Near Ketchum


By Paul Johnson

Ketchum, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) – Following a five-month hiatus from construction activities, work is set to resume on Idaho 75 between East Fork Road and the Big Wood River Bridge, the Idaho Transportation Department announced. Crews are expected to begin work Monday April 28. The contractor anticipates completing the project by the end of summer, but any delay due to weather or unforeseen complications may extend work schedules.
Reconstruction and widening 3.25 miles of Idaho 75 started last May and has been in winter shutdown since mid-November. The contractor has been waiting for soil conditions to improve.
Many significant features of the project were completed during the 2013 construction season, including constructing the southbound lanes from the south terminus to near Hospital Drive, building retaining walls near Owl Rock Road and Rivers Edge, constructing a sound wall at the Drashner Trailer Park, removing contaminated soil at the former Dean’s Tire location, installing a storm-water infiltration and pipe systems, and installing a new traffic signal at Hospital Drive.
Remaining work includes reconstructing the northbound lanes throughout the project, rebuilding the southbound lanes from the north terminus to south of Hospital Drive, completing the pipe work and one additional infiltration pond for storm water, completing retaining-wall façade work, reconstructing driveways and business access, adding signs and performing shoulder work.
Underground and overhead utilities also will be relocated throughout the project area.
“There were a lot of challenges the contractor had to work through in 2013, which pushed the project into this second season,” said Justin Price, ITD resident engineer for the Shoshone region. “With most of the big items already done or nearly so, we anticipate construction will be successfully completed.”
Idaho 75 will be widened to two lanes in each direction with intermittent center turn lane and turn bays for access into residences and businesses. Throughout construction, one lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction but traffic may be stopped or delayed when needed.
Idaho Sand and Gravel, of Jerome, is the contractor for the $9.44 million project.
Drivers are reminded to use caution throughout the entire construction zone, watch for construction traffic and crews, and diligently watch for other drivers who may be stopping while turning off the highway.
The 27-mile, Timmerman-to-Ketchum corridor study engaged the public about roadway improvement for much of the last decade and concluded with the Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) Record of Decision issued in 2008.
The Timmerman-to-Ketchum corridor was split into seven project areas, with the design and construction of the Timber Way-to-Big Wood River stretch the first to be improved. The Big Wood River-to-Elk Horn Road section is currently being designed with expected construction in 2016. Construction of the five other sections will follow as funding becomes available.

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