Motorists who regularly travel between Moscow and Lewiston will be able to chronicle the development of a new highway without leaving their car or adding to their commute.
Construction on what will become new northbound lanes of a four-lane divided U.S. 95 is expected to begin next week. The new lanes will be constructed as separate but contiguous projects about 50 to 100 feet east of the existing highway, explains Resident Engineer Drew Woods of the ITD District 2 office in Lewiston.
Construction will begin near Thorn Creek Road, about six miles south of Moscow, and proceed to Genesee. Work will begin Monday when construction crews from Scarsella Brothers (Seattle) begin stripping topsoil and excavating the roadbed.
Before the onset of winter, crews should be finished with all but the top layer of the northbound lanes of the 8-mile, $17.2 million segment. The southbound lanes will be constructed in 2006.
Woods said the contract for the second segment – from Genesee to the top of the Lewiston Hill – was awarded this week. Construction will begin on that eight-mile segment by early or mid-April. Motorists can expect minor delays and reduced speed limits on this portion of the project when of realignment of several curves north of the Lewiston hill takes place. Construction will cost about $32.8 million.
Drivers should anticipate increased heavy truck traffic because of the projects. Minor delays may be required.
Both projects should be completed by the fall of 2007.
The two segments ultimately will connect with the existing southern entrance to Moscow. Public input and environmental studies are under way and will determine the location of the last segment of the U.S. 95 project.
The four-lane divided highway will significantly improve safety on the heavily traveled commuter/agricultural corridor and eventually may extend from Lewiston to Coeur d’Alene.