Expect Traffic Delays On Idaho 75 Through Wood River Valley
Ketchum, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) – The first project to widen Idaho 75 through the Wood River Valley is set to begin next week with reconstruction of 3.25 miles between Hailey and Ketchum. Extensive ground and rock work is expected to begin on Wednesday May 1 and extend through this fall.
During the coming weeks, drivers can expect lane restrictions and delays along the highway between East Fork Road and the Big Wood River Bridge near Hospital Drive. Initial work will include temporarily widening the roadway, removing structures and guardrail, constructing retaining walls, and installing a new traffic signal at Hospital Drive.
When 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. Other work includes intersection improvements, curb and gutter, stormwater drainage and retention, retaining walls, and utility relocation. Utility companies have been on site for about two weeks to complete relocation prior to road-building activities.
Idaho Sand and Gravel, of Jerome, is the contractor for the $9.44 million project. The contractor anticipates completing the project in October, although weather or unforessen circumstances may delay project completion into 2014.
“We’re excited to get this project kicked off,” said Justin Price, ITD resident engineer for the Shoshone region. “This is a project that has been in the works for a long time and we expect construction to go smoothly. But there will be, as with any road construction, a large impact to drivers and their daily commute.”
One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained throughout the project, but there will be traffic delays and flagging during portions of construction. Drivers are reminded to use caution throughout the entire construction zone, watch for construction traffic and crews, and watch for other drivers that 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 six other sections will follow as funding becomes available.