With a backhoe excavator parked near the westbound lanes of Interstate 84, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, legislators, city officials and others gathered in eastern Boise Sept. 27 to mark the start of major improvements to the highway.
The groundbreaking ceremony on the Eisenman Overpass included Otter, Idaho Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John McGee, Sen. Elliot Werk, Idaho Transportation Board Member Monte McClure, Nampa Mayor Tom Dale and others. From the overpass, I-84’s eastbound and westbound lanes could be seen carrying vehicles into Boise and east toward Mountain Home.
Otter likened highway improvements to the investment private companies make in their infrastructure.
“Businesses typically invest 10 percent of their budgets each year in their facilities,” Otter said. “In Idaho, we need to be doing the same.”
The I-84 East project is part of a multi-year plan to improve the interstate. The first phase of I-84 East is the repaving of the route from the Broadway Interchange to the Eisenman Interchange. The phase also includes building a sound wall on the north side of I-84 from east of a current sound wall at Cole Road to Broadway Avenue.The repaving started in mid-September and is scheduled for completion next summer.
Later this fall, preparations will begin on a second project on the I-84 West corridor to add a third lane between the Garrity Interchange in east Nampa to the Meridian Interchange.
McGee, whose Legislative district includes Caldwell, said the I-84 East repaving project will benefit residents who live in the region.
“Projects on the I-84 corridor will be vital not only to those in this neighborhood, but to the thousands of people who drive into Boise daily from Canyon County – Caldwell, Nampa, Greenleaf and other areas,” McGee said.
Other improvements on Interstate 84 include the new Locust Grove Overpass, scheduled to open in late November, that will add another north-south route over I-84. In 2009, construction is scheduled to start on the Ten Mile Interchange. The existing Ten Mile Road overpass will be removed and an interchange offering access to I-84 will be built in its place.
The I-84 East repaving is the second highway improvement project in the Treasure Valley to use GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bond funding. The bonds allow the transportation department to plan, design and build more highway projects in less time than possible through traditional funding methods.
The first highway project in the Treasure Valley to use GARVEE -bonded funds was the expansion of the I-84 westbound off-ramp at Eagle Road.