Commuters, airmen benefit from repairs to I-84 east of Boise

A project to correct severe pavement deficiencies on Interstate 84's eastbound lanes between Boise and Mountain Home, under way since mid-July, likely will finish before Christmas. The final traffic switch occurred Wednesday night (Dec. 7), as eastbound traffic was moved back over to the eastbound side of the freeway; it had shared the other side of the interstate with westbound traffic.

The improvement will benefit commuters, including many airmen from the nearby military airbase.

“Many airmen from Mountain Home Air Force Base reside in and often visit Idaho's vibrant capital city,” said Lt. Col. Ainsley O’Reilly, chief of 366th Fighter Wing Safety. “The newly repaved section of I-84 greatly enhances the surface condition of the roadway between Boise and Mountain Home to make the commute safer for our airmen and other transient traffic using the corridor.

“With winter weather around the corner, we are grateful for ITD’s hard work to complete this construction project and open all lanes to traffic,” he added.
Staff Sgt. Seth Rediker said that completing the project before the onset of winter weather is a huge benefit to the thousand of airmen who commute to and from Boise. 

“The completion of this project is important to the base because the gunfighters get a little nervous when they are right next to oncoming traffic and the roads are slick,” he said.
Rediker met with ITD representatives from the Office of Communications on Wednesday to put together a video he posted to the airbase’s Facebook page and YouTube site to let the airmen know of the project’s status. Click here to see the video.
The $10.4 million project begins near milepost 70 (the Stage Stop and Mayfield Road Interchange) and extends east of the Simco Road Interchange beyond milepost 82.

Signs were installed last fall along the highway asking truck drivers to move left to preserve the pavement in the right lanes until the pavement could be repaired as part of this project.

The top two inches of the existing pavement were removed and 10 inches of concrete applied in its place to form the new travel surface.

Initially, crews built crossovers to route traffic from the east to the west side. Traffic shared the westbound travel lanes during construction in an opposing one-lane configuration.

The ramps at exits 71 (Stage Stop) and 74 (Simco Road) also were repaired.

The stretch of I-84 was constructed in 1959. The interstate received an overlay in 1961, another in 1989, and seal coats in 1986 and 2002. ITD maintenance crews did some blade patching (a maintenance technique for repairing an asphalt surface) last fall to extend the surface until a more permanent fix could be applied during this project.

The remaining work will ensure proper highway drainage and guardrail installation.

Published 12-9-2011