Why it Matters
Southbound traffic on Idaho’s primary north-south highway experiences several short passing lanes as it nears the White Bird summit, approximately seven miles south of Grangeville. This construction project will widen a 1.2-mile segment of the highway and connect two short passing lanes into a 2-mile continuous passing lane. It will result in safer passing opportunities and keep traffic flowing smoothly as it nears the summit and descends on the long White Bird grade.
The project also includes a major repair of the U.S. 95 road base and embankment that is subject to regular slippage. Movement of the base has created regular maintenance challenges since the highway was built in 1964. In early 2009, a crescent-shaped section of the highway deteriorated because of slippage. The affected portion of U.S. 95 is about 250-300 feet long and stretches from beyond the shoulder to the centerline; about 50 feet of the centerline is affected. That prompted closure of the outside (uphill) lane to keep traffic off the outside edge of the highway in an attempt to forestall continued deterioration.
The project will widen 1.2 miles of U.S. 95 between Grangeville and the top of the White Bird Grade. It also includes major repair to the highway road base and embankment to correct a long history of slippage.
Advertised: May 20, 2009
Bids opened: June 9, 2009
Contractor: Knife River, Boise [bid results]
Contract awarded: July 2, 2009
Construction Start: August 4, 2009
Current Project Phase: Under Construction
Estimated Completion: Spring, 2010
Project News Releases
News Release: June 10, 2009