For Sgt. Matt Parsons of the Meridian Police Department, last week’s opening of the Locust Grove Road Overpass spanning Interstate 84 represents less time spent en route to an emergency.
And more time helping people in need.
With the overpass opening on Nov. 29, Parsons and fellow officers will reduce their emergency response time by at least five minutes.
“We can literally come out of the police department, get on this and shoot straight down Locust Grove to head south,” Parsons said while standing on the overpass before a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening.
“We’ve got a high school over here,” he said, pointing south to Mountain View High School. “If we had a critical incident, the entire police department could empty and be there in two minutes.”
Construction on the Locust Grove Road Overpass started in December 2006. Before the new overpass was built and opened, Locust Grove Road dead-ended north and south of Interstate 84.
Planners estimate 20,000 vehicles will use the overpass each day. It also will relieve demand on the Eagle Road and Meridian Road interchanges.
Among those attending the opening ceremony were Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd, Idaho Transportation Board member Monte McClure and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John McGee.
“We have been committed to this project for many years and are thrilled to celebrate its completion,” de Weerd said. “This is a huge step forward in addressing our residents’ high expectations. Not only will this new connection ease traffic on existing roadways, it will improve emergency response times.”
An antique Meridian fire truck led a procession of emergency response vehicles across the overpass at the conclusion of the opening ceremony.
ITD administered the federal-aid project for the Ada County Highway District. The overpass and Locust Grove Road are on the district’s system.