With two young fiddlers in the corner, the local community filled the combination store, restaurant and tavern adjacent to the highway to enjoy hot apple cider and chuckwagon chow, a Mann Creek original chili-stew concoction.
Dedication speakers included State Sen. Monty Pearce, Washington County Commission Chairperson Diana Thomas, Assistant District 3 Engineer Elaine Davis and Transportation Board Chairman Chuck Winder. The board chairman presented an engraved, framed photo collection of the highway's early construction to store owner Brenda Edwards in appreciation for her support throughout the reconstruction.
The project rebuilt and realigned 5.5 miles of U.S. 95 north of Weiser. The curves were straightened and the highway shoulders widened. A new bridge over Mann Creek also was added. Steelman-Duff, Inc. of Clarkston, Wash. was the contractor on the $5.5 million project.
By taking out the curves and widening the bridge over Mann Creek we made this stretch of highway safer for the motorists and the high volume of truck traffic that use it every day, said Eric Shannon, ITD District 3 Engineer.
"This project is an example of ITD's commitment to preserving and improving U.S. 95, the primary link between north and south Idaho.
Photos: Traffic flows smoothly along the rebuilt Mann Creek segment of U.S. 95 (top); State Sen. Monty Pearce thanks ITD for the safety improvements (middle left); Mann Creek Store owner/manager Brenda Edwards and others inspect the store's new decoration framed historic photos of the highway's original construction (middle right); and two Weiser High School students, accompanied by guitar, fiddle for the crowd (bottom).