Idaho 84 Orchard Rd. to Gowen Rd.
Project area map
Key Number: 6492
In 2001, the Idaho Transportation Department completed a feasibility study for I-84 from Orchard to
Gowen that identified improvements needed to keep up with projected growth. The study recommends replacing
the existing pavement, widening the interstate and replacing the existing interchanges at Orchard, Vista,
Broadway and Gowen.
Using the 2001 feasibility study as a platform, the department is working to complete several key activities to design a project that addresses the future traffic needs on I-84 from Orchard to Gowen. These activities include a concept report, preliminary design, a construction staging plan and a complete environmental analysis.
Thirty-five years ago motorists traveling across the Gem state to Boise used old Highway 30,
a two-lane road that wound over country roads and through the Capital city. Travelers coming from the west
entered Boise on Fairview Avenue and left the city going east on Federal Way. Those days are gone however,
and what once was the city’s main artery was replaced in the late 60’s with an interstate
system built for the 20th century.
In 1960, planners proposed running the interstate through the heart of Boise, a move which would have
taken 25-acres of Julia Davis Park next to the Boise River. This idea was strongly opposed by residents. Articles
in the Idaho Statesman during the period show give-and-take between community groups, citizens, and the
Idaho Highway Department. Ultimately, a “bypass” route was chosen.
The bypass, which linked I-80N with the east and west sides of Boise, was built in the late 1960s.
The interchanges and overpasses at Cole, Orchard, Vista, Broadway and Gowen were also completed about
the same time. Rural sections of the interstate that replaced Highway 30 were completed between 1960 and 1974.
Public input helped determine the location of the Boise section of the interstate in the 1960s.
Today, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) again seeks public input to help develop a plan addressing future transportation needs along the I-84 Orchard to Gowen corridor.
In 2001, ITD completed a study along the I-84 corridor that identified improvements needed to keep up with projected growth. The study recommends replacing the existing pavement, widening the interstate and replacing the existing interchanges from Orchard to Gowen. The transportation department is now moving to the next phase of work and is looking for public input.
A team led by Washington Group International has begun the second phase of work. Using the 2001 improvement study as a platform, the project team will complete several key activities to design a project that addresses the future traffic needs along the corridor. These activities include a concept report, preliminary design, a construction staging plan, and a complete environmental analysis.
A description of each of these activities follows:
The concept report will identify improvements that need to be made through the year 2035. It will identify options for the interchanges at Orchard, Vista, Broadway and Gowen and will determine the number of lanes needed on I-84 between the Orchard and Gowen interchanges.
Preliminary design activities include surveying, traffic projections, right-of-way determination, interchange layout, highway engineering and cost estimates.
The construction-staging plan will determine the order of construction for each portion of the project. The plan will identify the most effective way to construct the project while keeping traffic flowing along the corridor.
A complete environmental analysis will be done to follow the guidelines set forth in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The environmental document will detail any issues that may arise as a result of the project. Some of the environmental issues that will be addressed in the environmental document are noise impacts, air quality, effects upon surrounding neighborhoods and businesses, and impacts to wildlife and plant habitat. An approved environmental document is necessary to qualify for federal funding.
Field crews are currently conducting surveys, traffic counts, aerial mapping, noise studies and other environmental fieldwork in the project area. While the fieldwork is taking place, the Idaho Transportation Department will be conducting public involvement activities, keeping people informed about the project and gathering input. Project engineers use public input the same way the use the information gathered from the fieldwork and surveys. Public input help engineers develop projects that address the issues and concerns of the community.
When will construction begin?
A construction date has not been determined. Several factors, including costs and availability of funding, will determine when the project can be built. The activities being performed during this phase of the project design will help the project team identify a construction timeline.
Compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is committed to compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related regulations and directives. ITD assures that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any ITD service, program, or activity. The department also assures that every effort will be made to prevent discrimination through the impacts of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income populations. In addition, the department will take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to services for persons with Limited English Proficiency.