Unique partnership drives improvements on U.S. 95

A unique partnership will accelerate safety improvements this fall on U.S. 95 at Anderson Corner, located at the Canyon/Payette county line. Improvements at the intersection also will enhance traffic flow.

The project is a cooperative effort involving ITD; Nunhems USA Inc., part of Bayer CropScience (headquartered in Parma); the Idaho Department of Commerce; and the Western Alliance for Economic Development.

Work is expected to begin in early September and finish about a month later. The project is being advertised to potential contractors, with a bid opening scheduled for Tuesday (Aug. 13).

The intersection derives its name from a store located at the northwest corner. The Nunhems USA plant is across the intersection to the west.

Crews will construct a new northbound right-turn lane onto Anderson Corner Road, and will extend the southbound acceleration lane another quarter mile, providing greater distance and safety for vehicles merging onto U.S. 95.

The intersection has an impact on local and agricultural traffic, and is a major trucking agricultural transportation route.

Nunhems USA’s Parma plant has approximately 170 full-time employees on a full-time basis and as many as 70 seasonal workers at peak times. During the harvest season, it accommodates up to 25 trucks per day, according to Tyson Smith, the company’s regional head of finance and administration.

The partners will collaborate on construction of the new northbound right-turn lane.  ITD decided to lengthen the acceleration lane as a result of input from motorists and individuals who work near the Anderson Corner intersection (U.S. 95 and U.S. 20/26).

Two-lane U.S. 95 has no turn lane at the intersection, so drivers traveling at the authorized speed limit sometimes contend with motorists in front of them who have slowed or stopped to turn.

“The speed limit on the highway is 65 mph, with a lot of truck traffic and fog in the winter,” Smith said. “Over the years, we’ve had many near misses and thought that a turn lane would provide a safe access to Anderson Corner Road and our facility.”

“We're making the intersection safer by separating the turning traffic from the full-speed through traffic,” explained Dave Kuisti, engineering manager for ITD’s southwest area. Nunhems is contributing $75,000; the Western Alliance grant will contribute another $75,000; and ITD is adding $350,000.

Eleven crashes have occurred at the intersection since 2006.

Published 8-9-13