ITD celebrates largest grant ever
Aug. 29 in Nampa

A much-needed infusion of federal funding in the Treasure Valley was recognized Aug. 29 in Nampa with a public event celebrating $90.24 million in grant funds to help ease congestion on Interstate 84 between the Karcher Interchange and Franklin Boulevard.

Watch Idaho's INFRA grant video.

In fact, it was the largest grant ITD has ever received. The grant will help ITD deliver on its three-pronged mission -- your safety. your mobility. your economic opportunity. “More importantly, the project is expected to Improve safety by significantly reducing serious and fatal crashes in the area,” said ITD Director Brian Ness, who served as emcee of the event.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter, Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Brandye Hendrickson and other state and local officials (Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas, Canyon County Commission President Tom Dale, and Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho Chair Dave Case) joined Ness and board member Julie DeLorenzo. The event recognized the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant for improvements benefiting the movement of good and services on the heavily used route.

Across the nation, grants totaling nearly $1.5 billion have been proposed through INFRA.

The I-84 Corridor project began in 2008 and spans from Gowen Road in Boise to Caldwell. The INFRA grant will help fund construction of an additional travel lane and auxiliary lanes from Franklin Blvd. to Karcher Rd. in Nampa, an estimated $150 million project. Besides widening I-84 in this 2.8-mile section, it includes replacing and widening an overpass and an under-sized canal structure, replacing and expanding two bridges over a railroad and canal, performing ramp improvements, reconstructing an interchange, and rebuilding a bridge over the freeway.

The project is innovative because of its use of diverse local and state matching funds. Idaho’s application was a joint effort between ITD and COMPASS (the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho). COMPASS was instrumental in spearheading the funding application, and arranging for needed funds from the city of Caldwell and Canyon County.

The Idaho Transportation Board also was innovative in its use of state money as a matching funding source. The grant offsets 60% of the project’s total estimated cost of $150 million. ITD will use funds allocated by the Idaho Legislature to cover remaining costs, including funds from Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation, the General Fund Surplus, and a portion of the Cigarette Tax dedicated to transportation.

“Idaho is the fastest-growing state in the country, and receiving this grant shows the importance of the Interstate 84 corridor for moving freight, along with our own goods and services, across the west and the world,” Ness said. “We appreciate this additional funding and the benefits it will bring for commerce, commuters and the traveling public. It will relieve congestion through Canyon County and the entire Treasure Valley."

This area sees nearly 100,000 vehicle trips per day, and commercial trucks comprise a significant percentage of that traffic.

"What we've seen here today is a tremendous spirit of collaboration," said Hendrickson. "When it comes to improving roads in Idaho and rural communities in other parts of the country, the U.S. Department of Transportation and its Federal Highway Administration are here to help you all. We're proud to support efforts to move freight more efficiently into and out of Idaho and by awarding this INFRA grant, we can make travel along I-84 safer."

"Our primary concern in government is keeping our citizen's safe," said Governor Otter. "This project not only addresses safety, but also improves mobility and enhances economic opportunity. Whether it's potato chips or computer chips, this new addition to our transportation infrastructure will help get Idaho value-added products to market quicker and safer while helping to address the booming growth of the Treasure Valley. It is a vital expansion to a critical economic corridor that benefits Idaho, the region and the world. This exemplifies the Idaho value of helping your neighbor and working together to achieve something great, and the partnership that is the backbone of this state."

Construction on the project will begin this fall. Temporary lanes will be paved on the existing shoulders to ensure two lanes of travel in each direction will remain open during peak hours throughout construction.


Published 08-31-18