Council approves closure of Eastland Drive and Falls Avenue intersection for construction

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Twin Falls City Council approved the closure of intersection Eastland Drive and Falls Avenue in Monday night's meeting.

Eastland Drive and Falls Avenue intersection (KMVT/Elenee Dao)

Six of the seven council members approved the hard closure on that intersection for construction in the coming months. Chris Talkington voted no to the motion.

Staff Engineer Josh Baird said about 25,000 vehicles pass through that specific intersection everyday, so they went to council to ask for a hard closure of it.

The original design of construction would have taken about 15 weeks to complete the project in four different phases, keeping some lanes open for motorists.

However, Monday night, staff went to council with a proposal, discussing a closure for the first four weeks with detours for the intersection.

After the first four weeks, Eastland Drive North would reopen for travel, but Falls Avenue East would remain closed for another four weeks.

"Personally, I'm supportive of the quickest opportunity to complete the project and also understanding what we're doing there is a 40 year solution to improvements that is well needed," said Shawn Barigar, mayor.

The Eastland Drive-Falls Avenue intersection project will cost about $950,000.

Crews will be fully removing and reconstructing the intersection with concrete pavement.

The project will also extend a new section of about 200 feet from each direction from the intersection to enhance future city fiber infrastructure as well as making it a smooth drive for motorists.

They plan to start construction in August. Detours and more detailed time frames will come at a later date.

Another item on the agenda was the Twin Falls Archway Committee asking to change the design of the archway sign.

Members of the committee went before council to ask for a change in the material to construct the archway.

The design concept was approved in April 2017, approving two electronic signs, one facing each direction.

The group asked council to change the material from a lava rock veneer to a steel called Core10, which they believe will be harder to climb and more difficult to vandalize.

Council unanimously approved the new material along with allowing it to go for bid.

Of the $300,000 goal, they have so far raised $176,000.

A city staff member said in the upcoming budget, they will have enough money to finish the fundraising, if approved.

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