Plans for reconstructing two major Interstate 84 interchanges attracted individuals to a trio of recent public meetings the past six weeks.
The first meeting, in July, provided an opportunity for the public to learn about the Meridian Interchange at Meridian Road, a gateway to the city’s business district.
Subsequent meetings allowed individuals to explore design and construction options for the $31 million Gowen Road Interchange (July 31) and the $53 million Broadway Avenue Interchange (Aug. 7).
Comments offered at the Gowen Road meeting ranged from support for a new interchange to concern about impacts to businesses during construction.
“For business owners, it’s going to be a complicated time,” said Dan Clawson, who works at the TK Bar close to the interchange. “It’ll be good when it’s done.”
Vivian Engle also works at a business near the interchange. She looks forward to her commute to the Dress Barn in the Boise Outlet Mall after construction is completed.
“I think it’s well overdue, just from a safety standpoint,” Engle said, adding that she wanted to see how her commute to work would change during construction. “That’s why I came tonight. I wanted to see how to get to work.”
Public comments on the Broadway project focused on the improvements that would come from reconstruction.
"I think it's a good project," said Ken Pidjeon. "The on-ramps eastbound onto I-84 from Broadway will be a great improvement."
"I like the fact that the new interchange will efficiently move traffic," Susan Bolen added. "I commute westbound in the morning, and I've found it's easier to merge onto I-84 during the morning commute. Getting on I-84 in the evening is tougher. There are times when I think I'm going to run off the road because there's not enough space to merge."
More than 90 people attended the meetings to discuss the Broadway and Gowen interchange rebuilds. Construction on all three interchange projects – Meridian, Gowen and Broadway – is scheduled to begin next spring and is expected to take 18-21 months.