Shoshone North project approved; construction expected to start this year

An eight-mile reconstruction project of Idaho 75 north of Shoshone has passed environmental clearances and is expected to begin this year, ending a period of delays. The project stalled for more than a year while waiting for an environmental re-evaluation and preparation of a mitigation site.

Both have been completed and has opened the opportunity for construction to begin this season, as soon as early summer, according to District 4 officials.

“We had to wait for a lot of dominoes to be set into place and fall before we could move forward with this project,” D-4 Engineer Devin Rigby said. “Reconstruction of this section of Idaho 75 has been in the works a long time and we’re thrilled to finally see this happening.”

In 2010, ITD was required to complete a delineation of wetlands throughout the project area. That study found additional environmental impacts and necessitated development of an environmental mitigation project for the wetland impacts as required by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE).

To fulfill the requirement, ITD purchased mitigation credits from The Wetlands Group for a section within a wetland bank currently under development in Blaine County. For the purchase price of $251,776, The Wetlands Group will be responsible for construction of the wetland bank and perpetual maintenance of the mitigation area.

The Idaho 75-Shoshone North project will construct two new lanes from the north Shoshone city limit to near Mammoth Cave and includes new bridges over the Milner-Gooding Canal, Big Wood River and North Gooding Canal. The highway will remain open to traffic through most of the construction zone and will be demolished when the new route is complete.

The contract for the work will be advertised and awarded later this spring. Construction is expected to take about a year.

Published 1-20-2012