Bid opening signals unofficial beginning of projects
using federal stimulus funding
Bids were opened Tuesday on the first highway construction project in Idaho that will use federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Debco Construction of Orofino is the apparent low bidder on the U.S. 95, Moscow Mountain Passing Lane project north of Moscow in Latah County. Debco bid $2.7 million on the project.
Construction is expected to begin in mid-July and should be complete late this fall. The contract allows 70 working days.
The intent behind the federal stimulus program approved by Congress earlier this year is to promote economic growth and recovery, in part, by investing in America’s highways.
The Moscow Mountain project is calculated to generate or preserve more than 50 jobs.
“We are pleased to be able to advance this project so quickly and prepare it for construction this summer,” said Idaho Transportation Department Director Pamela Lowe. “Not only will it address a much needed safety concern for U.S. 95, it will also serve as a model for the other seven stimulus projects we expect to begin this construction season.”
U.S. 95 is the primary north-south route through Idaho and carries a diverse mix of traffic, including long-haul commercial trucks, wood-chip trucks, agricultural equipment, recreational vehicles and passenger vehicles. The two-lane highway winds through the rolling Palouse hills and includes moderate grades.
The limited number of passing opportunities constitutes a challenge for the motorists who are frequently slowed by commercial and agricultural traffic. An additional passing lane on Moscow Mountain will significantly improve safety.
Idaho’s other highway projects that qualify for about $150 million in federal ARRA funds include:
U.S. 2, Dover Bridge replacement and approaches, $36.8 million (bid opening: June 9)
U.S. 95, Top of White Bird Grade, widening and construction of a chain-up area, $5.2 million (bid opening: June 9)
Interstate 84, Vista Avenue Interchange, reconstruction/realignment, $43.4 million (bid opening: June 16)
U.S. 93, Twin Falls Alternate Route, relocation, $40.3 million (bid to be advertised June 15)
I-86, Chubbuck Interchange to Pocatello Creek Interchange, major widening, $11.2 million (bid opening: June 23)
U.S. 20, Henrys Lake Flat passing lanes, widening, $3.5 million (bid opening: June 9)
Idaho 48, Rigby High School to Yellowstone Highway, major widening, $5.4 million (bid opening: June 23)
The U.S. 95, Moscow Mountain Passing Lane project includes construction of a northbound passing lane, updated guardrail and guardrail ends and retaining walls.
Rumble strips also will be added on both shoulders of U.S. 95 at about milepost 350.
Once bids are awarded for construction, progress can be followed at the stimulus highway projects section of ITD's Accountability Web site.