Timmerman-to-Ketchum project nears launch
The first phase of development for the Timmerman to Ketchum corridor is set to begin. A consulting firm has been selected to design and provide construction plans for the initial project.
WH Pacific, an Idaho-based engineering and land surveying firm, was chosen from a group of 13 candidates to develop right-of-way plans and design the first phase of the 26-mile corridor reconstruction project.
The Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision, approved and signed by the Federal Highway Administration last year, identified four projects for initial development. The section from Timber Way and the Big Wood River Bridge north of St. Luke's Medical Center is the first of the four initial projects to be developed in the corridor.
"It was a difficult vetting process to choose the engineering firm," Project Manager Mike Scott said. "Each candidate brought a certain set of skills and professionalism which made the decision very complex. We believe we found the best candidate to carry on this exciting and important project."
The section between Timber Way and Hospital Drive was picked to be the first phase because of acquisition requirements and transportation demands. Included in the first phase is development of roadway engineering and right-of-way plans, acquisition of right of way, and construction. Construction is expected to begin in 2013.
As much as $27 million will be used to fund the first phase and environmental-mitigation projects. Any excess from phase one will be available for later right-of-way development and road construction. Subsequent phases of planning and construction will happen over many years, contingent upon future funding. The total cost for all phases of the corridor, estimated in 2008 dollars, is $250 million.
"This initial project will lay the groundwork for any land purchase or construction that might take place in the next few years," Scott said. "We're excited as anybody to finally get started on this project."
A parallel project to the first phase will be mitigation for wetlands and environmental impacts within the corridor, which fulfills a requirement of the Environmental Impact Statement. The Boulder Flats mitigation site near Phantom Hill will be designed and constructed at the same time as the projects in the corridor. Mitigation will include restoration of wetlands along Idaho 75.