Ceremony to mark beginning of Idaho 16 extension project

A ceremony Thursday (May 24) at 2:16 p.m. at the southwest corner of Idaho highways 16 and 44 will kick off construction on the long-awaited first stage of the Idaho 16 extension over the Boise River. It represents the first segment of a project that eventually will connect State Street (Idaho 44) and Chinden Boulevard (U.S. 20/26) by a high-speed, four-lane highway.

The project is hailed by supporters as an important step for commerce, convenience and safety. Completion of the project will enhance mobility for motorists, provide a safe alternate north-south route that connects the interstate with Idaho 44, and enable economic development in the highway corridor, all of which support Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's Project 60 initiative and ITD's strategic plan.

The groundbreaking ceremony, organized by the Central Valley Expressway Coalition (CVEC), is open to the public. Attendees can park at the Eagle Christian Church at 7695 West State Street. Buses will begin shuttling people to the ceremony site at 1:45 for the event, and will be on hand to transport them back to the church parking lot after the ceremony as well. Click here for ceremony location map.

Featured speakers will be Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Idaho Sen. Chuck Winder, and CVEC Chairman Mary May; emcee for the event will be ITD Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead.

"After several years of hard work, CVEC is incredibly excited to see phase one of the Highway 16 extension commence," said May. "With the economic benefits to be had from this corridor, including significant projected new revenue for the state of Idaho, this project isn't just about building a road - it's about building the future of Idaho. We're excited for the project to begin and to see it through to completion, all the way to I-84."

The first project will build a 1,700-foot bridge across the Boise River and includes other construction activities to connect the bridge to State Street. The second project includes the completion of the highway from the Boise River to Chinden Boulevard and a bridge over the Phyllis Canal, which is also anticipated to be under contract this summer. A third project will construct the new intersections at State Street and Chinden Boulevard and all of the new public roads needed to provide access as a result of the expansion work.

The 2.5-mile project likely will begin before the end of this month and finish about two years later, in 2014.

Concrete Placing Co. Inc., of Boise, is the prime contractor on this $19.4 million project.

“As western Ada, eastern Canyon, and southern Gem counties develop, the ability to move north-south traffic is a primary concern,” explained Amy Schroeder, GARVEE program manager. GARVEE funded the design and development of the Highway 16 route.

“The project will provide another vital north-south link in the Treasure Valley as the population continues to grow.”

“This also means that drivers will not need to turn east to Eagle Road or west to Star Road, but instead will be able to go straight across the river, expanding the options available to the traffic network,” said Schroeder. “For the estimated 22,000 drivers who will use the route every day as soon as it opens, that’s good news.”

For more information on the project, please click here to check the project website.

Published 5-18-2012