Groundbreaking events scheduled for two
Gov. C.L. Butch Otter and local officials will assemble Wednesday in eastern Idaho for two ceremonies on highway construction projects that will improve driving conditions.
An 11 a.m. ceremony will be held to break ground on the $3 million Idaho 48 Rigby High School to Yellowstone Highway improvement project. The ceremony, which will conclude at noon, will feature messages from Gov. Otter, Rigby Mayor Keith Smith and School District 251 Superintendent Dr. Ron Tolman. The event will be conducted on the school grounds north of the high school near Idaho 48 (300 N.) and 3823 E., where a new right-turn bay will be built.
Traveling to Rigby on U.S. 20, take the first exit into town and follow road signs to Idaho 48. Turn west onto Idaho 48, drive one and one-half miles to 300 N. and 3800 E., and turn south to the high school, where parking will be designated.
Camera crews are asked to arrive no later than 10:45 a.m. For their convenience, an area will be reserved for crews to set up video cameras.
The highway construction project, which uses federal stimulus funds, will improve 1.7 miles of Idaho 48 through Rigby. The stretch of highway is the main east-west artery in Rigby, connecting the population centers on both sides of U.S. 20 that divides the community. The project will widen the corridor to three lanes, add a right-turn bay to the east (main) high school entrance and install curb, gutter and sidewalk between the high school and 3rd West in Rigby.
The project also will resurface the highway from 3rd West to the Yellowstone Highway east of Rigby. Widening Idaho 48 near the high school will help school employees and students safely travel and pull off of Idaho 48. Construction will take place this summer and fall, with completion expected by November. The new roadway will be seal-coated next year.
One side of the road will be constructed at a time to keep the highway open and minimize inconvenience to motorists. The transportation department awarded HK Contractors, Inc., of Idaho Falls, the $3 million contract.
An estimated 54 jobs will be created or preserved by the reconstruction project. More information, including a media packet, will be available later. Please direct questions to the Idaho Transportation Department, (208) 334-8005.
The 1:30 p.m. ceremony for the Interstate 86 Chubbuck Interchange to Pocatello Creek Interchange project will be on Bullock Street, southeast of the I-86/Chubbuck Interchange. Traveling north on Yellowstone Avenue, turn right on Bullock Avenue. The ceremony will be adjacent to the interstate near where the new auxiliary lane will be built. It will be clearly marked by signs.
Gov. Otter and other event participants will be available following the groundbreaking to address media questions.
Camera crews are asked to arrive no later than 1:15 p.m. For their convenience, an area will be reserved to set up video cameras to record the event.
The highway construction project, which uses federal stimulus funds, will add auxiliary lanes on Yellowstone Avenue to the Interstate 86/Chubbuck Interchange, east to I-15 and south to the Pocatello Creak Interchange. The additional 3.4 miles of new highway will enable local travelers to move more quickly and efficiently throughout the Pocatello metropolitan area.
Construction should be complete by mid-2011.
An estimated 145 jobs will be created or preserved by the two-year project.