Stimulus savings to be used on U.S. 95 'bottleneck'
A two-lane, two-mile bottleneck on U.S. 95 north of Hayden will be expanded using $15.8 million in federal stimulus savings.
The project will widen a two-lane section of U.S. 95, between Wyoming Avenue and the Idaho 53 junction to connect with four-lane segments on both sides. Widening the small segment of highway will create four continuous lanes from Coeur d'Alene to north of Garwood when construction is completed.
"Designating some of the savings from stimulus projects to this heavily traveled segment of U.S. 95 makes good sense," said Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. "Funneling traffic from four lanes to two lanes in this short section creates a real safety risk that needs to be eliminated."
State Rep. Frank Henderson (R-Post Falls) agrees.
"It is critical that we not have a two-lane bottleneck between two four-lane sections of highway. By building this project and closing the gap, we are reducing congestion, preventing accidents and positioning the region for future economic development."
"My satisfaction with this announcement is shared by all north Idaho legislators. We have worked as a team to correct this problem and will continue to do so, to help throughout the state wherever there is a similar threat to the safety of the driving public. Gov. Otter, of course, was the key leader in providing the solution."
The state anticipates saving $33 million on the eight major federal transportation stimulus projects bid by contractors. Transportation department officials credit an increase in the number of contractors bidding projects for the savings. The transportation board decided to wait until bids on the U.S. 93 Twin Falls Alternate Route project is open this month to decide which projects to fund with remaining stimulus savings.