New Meadows thanks ITD for assistance
Representatives from the city of New Meadows recently took the time to thank ITD for assistance with a number of projects, including installation of new crosswalk and pedestrian signs that will increase the safe walk to school for children.
In addition to a major project that rebuilt the Idaho 55 and 95 intersection in town a few years ago, ITD’s Traffic Services and Maintenance operations have been working with the city recently on a number of smaller projects, such as the crosswalks, drainage ditches, and “Cash for Towns” funds to update ramps for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The most recent improvements, according to City Clerk/Treasurer Mac Qualls, came as a result of the Capital for a Day event the city hosted in April.
“We had ITD leaders here along with the Governor,” Qualls said “and they got to see some of the issues we’re facing. I think it opened some eyes.”
ITD built new crosswalks, spruced up existing ones with fresh paint and posted more signs to alert drivers of the reduced school zone speed limit, which increases safety for school children.
That project supports ITD’s Strategic Plan commitment to provide the public a safe, efficient transportation system.
“Most kids that live here in town walk to school, and we had a definite safety concern for them,” Qualls said. “We also have a special-needs child who lives here in town, and the improved safety and visibility will certainly help ensure a safer route.”
Flood repairs also were a paramount concern raised during the Capital for a Day meeting, especially the financial implications for the town of less than 500 people. Approximately 1,000 rural residents travel to New Meadows daily in addition to the through traffic traveling on U.S. 95 and Idaho 55.
“We have to do everything we can to protect and preserve Highway 95,” Qualls said. “ITD crews are preparing to change out an old culvert running under the road that too frequently gets plugged, sending water over the highway.”
Qualls estimates the culvert to be 40-50 years old. He said it is lined with brick on the outside, but he’s not sure what kind of culvert runs under the highway.
On July 16, New Meadows Mayor Julie Spelman e-mailed District Engineer Dave Jones to say:
“Just wanted to thank you for all the help you have given to this little town of New Meadows. You have no idea of the help you have been to the citizens, and myself!
“With the help from you and your crew from District 3, we have been able to complete some very important projects. I do not think that they would have been accomplished so quickly, if at all. So thank you again, and please thank all of the people who help you to get these kinds of things done.
“Our new school crossings and pedestrian signs have already started to help people to remember to slow down.
“Please remember how much it means to this town, and others, I’m sure, and that you and the people that you work with are very much appreciated!
“So once again, the city of New Meadows, and myself as Mayor thank you!”