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Reed Hollinshead
ITD Office of Communication
(208) 334-8881

Southwest Idaho highway construction report for March 15-22

BOISE - The following projects in southwest Idaho are now under way.

BOISE - Idaho 16 Extension, river crossing plus road connections (GARVEE)

The next step in the extension of Idaho 16 connecting State Street to Chinden Boulevard is set to begin in several weeks. Nampa-based Idaho Sand and Gravel Company has been named Apparent Low Bidder for the $8.76-million work to connect the highways with the local roads on either end of the project.

Contracts have already been awarded to connect State to Chinden, including a new 1,726-foot bridge over the Boise River. Work has been under way since last May to build a bridge across the Boise River and Phyllis Canal between U.S. 20/26 and Idaho 44.

During the next month, ITD will verify that the Apparent Low Bidder is a properly licensed contractor and possesses a surety bond to protect taxpayers and the department. Once that has been verified, the contractor can schedule work to begin. These improvements will be done in late summer 2014.

Preparation for the GARVEE-funded construction on the connecting roads will begin in early April. Work that would disrupt the flow of irrigation waters will be suspended until the irrigation season has been completed.? ?GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds allowed the Idaho Transportation Department to advance critical infrastructure improvements in vital corridors throughout the state.

Concrete Placing Co. Inc., of Boise, is the contractor for the first two segments, which total $30.2 million.

This week on the river crossing, crews stripped the forms off of the wing walls on Abutment 1 to the south, formed and placed concrete on the wing walls at Abutment 2 to the north, and placed the final lifts on the retaining wall at Abutment 2. They also installed irrigation facilities for the local roads, backfilled the area around the box culvert and wing walls for the Moyle Box Culvert, and grouted the Nightshade box culvert.

MERIDIAN - Eagle Road resurfacing and medians

This project resurfaced Idaho 55 from Fairview Avenue in Meridian to State Street in Eagle, and installed raised medians from Franklin to Oakhampton Drive, one-half mile north of Chinden Boulevard.

Crews resumed work this week after a winter shutdown. There are about three weeks of work to finish up at the Chinden intersection. 

A new signal is being designed that will be added in the spring at Wainwright Street and Eagle Road. Crews hope to begin that work soon, probably in April.

One of the last items will be to re-stripe everything on Eagle Road in the project area.

Idaho Sand & Gravel Co., of Nampa, is the contractor on this $4.7 million project.

State Street/Linder Road/Ballantyne Lane intersection work

Traffic is restricted at night on Idaho 44 from W. State Street to just east of the Idaho 44/Linder Road intersection. ITD is replacing irrigation pipes under the roadway.

This work is part of the department’s Idaho 44 improvement project from Linder Road to Ballantyne Lane. Over the next several months, crews will be rebuilding the Idaho 44/Linder Road intersection and widening Idaho 44 to five lanes. Construction is expected to be completed by this fall.

The contractor is working on Linder Road, south of the intersection, and on widening the Middleton Mill Canal.

Flaggers will direct traffic through the construction zone from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Traffic will be restricted to one lane at various times during the night. Restrictions will be in place Sunday through Thursday for each of the next three weeks. During the day, construction will be limited to the shoulder and side of the roadway and will not restrict traffic.

Central Paving, of Boise, is the contractor on this $9.23 million project.

Idaho 21 resurfacing to Lowman

A resurfacing project covering 20.4 miles of Idaho 21 in Boise County is wrapping up for this construction season. The project has been suspended for the winter. Work will resume after June 15, as consistently hot temperatures are required for the remaining resurfacing.

The project runs from Mores Creek Summit to Clear Creek Bridge below Lowman, adding a Stress-Absorbing Fiberglass Layer with Emulsified Asphalt (SAFLEA) on two adjoining sections of Idaho 21 (milepost 52.3 to 60 and 60 to 72.7), conducting slope stabilization, and upgrading guardrail at existing locations.

A SAFLEA treatment, which will be added next summer, is a seal coat with a coating of chopped glass fibers between the oil and gravel aggregates to enhance durability and reduce cracking.

Knife River Corp, of Boise, is the contractor on this $3.9 million project.

BANKS – Zimmer Creek culvert replacement

The 2012 Springs Fire in southwest Idaho consumed more than 6,150 acres, and the negative affects are still being felt. The latest concession to the fire is the lack of runoff control now that all of the underbrush and vegetation has been burned off in the area.

With the ground thawing sufficiently to allow repairs, a pipe culvert at Zimmer Creek on Idaho 55 about two miles north of Banks is being cleaned out – work started Monday (March 11). The Forest Service and ITD predict significantly more runoff this spring due to loss of ground cover that would prevent erosion.
The work is expected to finish in three to four weeks.

The pipe has been in place for decades, and at some point a landslide clogged more than half of it, restricting the amount of flow it can handle. ITD’s maintenance forces attempted to clean it out last fall using equipment, but much of the debris in the 48-inch diameter pipe was too large and bulky to be moved. A professional contractor will clean out the pipe, likely by hand, with someone inside the pipe pulling out boulders, branches and other debris.

"ITD’s goal is to have the pipe cleaned out by spring runoff in hopes of preventing damage to the road due to floodwaters running over or undermining the highway," said Southwest Idaho Maintenance Manager Tom Points. 

Pipeline Inspection Services, of Nampa, will complete the $29,000 work.

“The contractor is using innovative and outside-the-box thinking in approaching the work," said Project Manager Amanda LaMott. "It looks like ITD could save significant money on this work, which should wrap up in about a month.”

Sand Hollow, Parma Interchange replacement

Bridge joints will be repaired on two bridges in southwest Idaho in a project that began March 4. The work is expected to last through March 20.

Repairs will be required on the Sand Hollow Interchange, at Exit 17 west of Caldwell. Failing bridge joints also will be repaired on the Parma Interchange, at Exit 26 near Caldwell.  A bad joint at a third location, the Idaho 55 bridge in Marsing, was repaired last fall.

Over the top of these bridges, one lane will remain open and temporary traffic signals will be used to guide traffic during the work.

Drivers are asked to watch for workers and equipment, and to exercise patience. There may be long delays, so motorists may want to avoid these interchanges if possible.

At the Parma Interchange, the existing metal joints will be removed and concrete will be excavated 18 inches on either side of the joint, retaining the embedded reinforcing bar. New metal joints will then be positioned and concrete placed and cured. Lastly, a neoprene joint seal will be slid into place.

At the Sand Hollow Interchange, the joints are on the two outside piers.  Work here will be similar to that at Exit 26, except that concrete excavation and placement only extends six inches on either side of each joint.

 RSCI, of Meridian, is the contractor on these $94,000 repairs.

CASCADE – Bridge Replacement

A replacement of the North Fork Payette River Bridge in downtown Cascade has begun again after being shut down during the winter. The bridgework will extend into late fall 2013.

This summer also saw resurfacing of the roadway between the bridges in town.

This project will replace the old, narrow, width-restricted bridge built in 1933 with one more than twice as wide. The existing bridge is 24 feet wide, and will be replaced with a 60-foot wide, 393-foot long, three-span bridge. The new bridge will have two 12-foot lanes, two 11-foot shoulders and a 14-foot median.

In addition, a paved extension will be built to the dirt shared-use path under the bridge on the north side of the river that provides access from both sides of the bridge to the new riverside park. The short section under the west half of the new bridge has been graded, but has not yet been paved. 

In the first stage, two-thirds of the new bridge will be built to the west of the existing structure. Traffic will be maintained on the existing bridge through this first stage of bridge work, and then will be routed to the new section of bridge for the remaining work as the old bridge is demolished. There will be traffic interruptions while the new roadway section leading to the new bridge is built.

From Monday through Thursday, work that limits drivers to one lane in each direction is only allowed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Two lanes will be maintained between noon Friday and noon Monday. A river safety and navigation plan will be in place for recreationists that use this section of the river.

The bridge contractor returned to the site this week and continued work on forming the wing wall and diaphragms. Crews may pour the diaphragms and wing wall next week.

The roadway contractor will return next week and continue work on the roadway if conditions allow.  No traffic impacts are expected.

Wadsworth Brothers Construction Co. Inc., of Draper, Utah, is the contractor on this $4.83 million project.

WEISER – replacement of bridge over Weiser River

The replacement of a 78-year-old bridge over the Weiser River south of Weiser began March 4, with several significant traffic impacts. The work on U.S. 95 is expected to be done by the end of this year.
Traffic is restricted to one lane across the bridge. North- and southbound traffic will alternate across the bridge, controlled by temporary signals at both ends of the structure.

Drivers are reminded to use patience during reconstruction and perhaps consider an alternate route, such as Oregon State Route 201 and the U.S. 95 Spur.

Traffic volume increases on U.S. 95 on weekends, so electronic message boards, both on the side of the highway and overhead on westbound I-84, will be used to alert motorists of bridge restrictions. Crews plan to work Mondays through Fridays, but will be off the highway on weekends and holidays.

The two-lane bridge, one of 99 remaining on the state system built before 1936, will be replaced with a three-lane structure. The existing bridge has 26 feet of drivable width, but the new one will be expanded to 48. An average of 7,300 vehicles use the bridge daily. More than 100 million vehicle trips have been taken across the bridge during its lifetime.

In addition to replacing the aging bridge, crews also will reconstruct more than 500 feet of bridge approaches at the north and south ends.

The existing bridge has a sidewalk and two 13-foot lanes but no shoulders. The new bridge will have two 12-foot lanes and a 12-foot center turn lane. The project features a two-foot buffer next to the decorative bridge railing, a five-foot shoulder and a five-foot sidewalk on the west side. No bike lanes will be included in the project.

Braun-Jensen, of Payette, is the prime contractor on the $4.8 million project.

Highway construction is one of the key forces pushing Idaho toward continued economic vitality by creating jobs, improving safety and reducing traffic congestion.