New interchange aims to ease Magic Valley traffic
The plan furthest along as of now is the Burley and Heyburn interchanges
HEYBURN, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — We’ve all noticed the increase in traffic as Idaho has been growing, and keeping your family safe on the roads has become even more challenging.
The Idaho Transportation Department is now taking action with numerous projects around the Gem State, including four here in Southern Idaho.
“You’re going to see the Burley and Heyburn interchanges as part of that design, we also have interstate widening on I-84 from Jerome to Twin Falls,” said ITD Deputy Program Manager Crystal Craig.
Two new interchanges have been designed with safety as their number one priority. “Each alternative includes better deceleration lanes, acceleration lanes at the interchange, as well as the necessary turn lanes associated with each alternative,” said Consultant Project Manager Dan Jones with Mini-Cassia Interchange Projects.
KMVT wanted to know where the money was coming from for this project. We asked ITD officials, who said a new bill passed by the State Legislature allows for increased funding from state tax dollars.
The bill reallocates money from the income and sales tax. Instead of using just 1% of those funds, the new plan allows for 4.5% of the funds from the income and sales tax.
“This increase gave ITD a guaranteed $80 million a year to use for what we’re calling TECHM projects,” said Craig.
Designers say this will allow for a more connected community, from motorists to other ways of travel. “Where the Burley interchange is really more of an urban setting, we’ll be able to facilitate the flow of pedestrians and bicycle traffic through these interchanges,” said Jones.
As far as when construction is expected to begin?
“From the Jerome to Twin project, we expect the design to be done late next year with construction following for the Burley Heyburn interchanges,” said Craig. “The design for both of these should be done by 2023, and we anticipate construction to follow.”
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