Ceremony launches reconstruction project
on busy US. 95 corridor
As traffic ebbed and flowed with the cycles of a nearby traffic light, dirt flew from shovels marking the formal beginning of the U.S. 95, Idaho 53 to Ohio Match Road project Wednesday (Sept. 24).
ITD representatives joined Connecting Idaho Partners, local officials and the public for the groundbreaking ceremony that launches the project, which is funded through GARVEE bonds. Construction will proceed in four phases, with the winter shutdown scheduled from Nov. 15 this year to March 15, 2009. Two-way traffic will be maintained throughout the construction. The four phases are:
Phase 1: Temporary widening in the area of Garwood Road and Ohio Match Road intersections. This section will be completed late this fall (2008).
Phase 2: Southbound lanes of U.S. 95 (north of Idaho 53) and temporary connections to existing Idaho 53. The phase will begin in spring 2009 and is scheduled for completion early in the summer.
Phase 3: Northbound lanes of U.S. 95 with completion anticipated in late summer, 2009.
Phase 4: Construct the rest of the southbound lanes of U.S. 95, south of Idaho 53. Completion is expected in early fall of 2009.
U.S. 95 is the primary north-south link for northern Idaho commerce, transportation and tourism. Rapid growth in Bonner and Kootenai counties has increased traffic volumes that approach the capacity of the existing two-lane route.
Speakers for Thursday’s groundbreaking included Idaho Transportation Board member Jim Coleman, ITD Deputy Director Scott Stokes and Clete Edmunson, special assistant for education and transportation in the governor’s office.
Assistant District 1 Engineer Andrea Storjohann was the program emcee.
The U.S. 95, Idaho 53 to Ohio Match Road has been in progress since ITD initiated a comprehensive study of the highway corridor between Garwood and Sagle in 2002. The study included extensive involvement by the public, local officials and agencies.
ISTD completed preliminary design and received environmental clearance for the project in September 2007. Final design and right-of-way acquisition were completed last May.
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Photos: Dignitaries turn soil into the beginning of a U.S. 95 project north of Coeur d'Alene Wednesday (top); District 1 board member Jim Coleman explains how the GARVEE Program is changing transportation in Idaho (middle); Clete Edmunson of the governor's office, emphasizes the benefit of the U.S. 95 project for northern Idaho motorists (bottom).