New signs to improve I-84 commute
The Interstate 84 commute between Nampa and Meridian is being improved with additional signs to encourage motorists to merge earlier and avoid congestion in the Black Cat and Ten Mile area. That's where the highway narrows temporarily from three lanes to two.
Construction on I-84 in the six-mile stretch continues. A third lane was opened October 30 except for one-mile from Black Cat to Ten Mile under the existing overpass, which will remain closed until next spring during construction of a new interchange at that location.
"Drivers need to merge sooner as they approach Black Cat from the west and Ten Mile from the east," Jeff Morf, ITD resident engineer, said. "If travelers could extend some courtesy toward their fellow commuters when they merge, they could limit the slowdown that is happening in the area and improve their safety and comfort at the same time. The additional signs will be a reminder to those drivers, and can make the commute both faster and safer."
When the majority of the third lane between Nampa and Meridian was opened last month, there were two signs on the left side of the road, along with the Portable Changeable Message Sign (PCMS) board and the arrow board. In mid-November, those signs were replaced with different signs to better convey the message of an impending lane change.
In addition to changing out these signs, two additional signs were added to the right side of the road, directly across from the signs on the left side.
Altogether, there are four signs, a PCMS board and an arrow board directing traffic to merge.
Paving will be scheduled during warmer weather early next year.
Until then, opening the remaining five miles of the third lane has several safety benefits:
It provides a dedicated lane for merging onto eastbound I-84 at the Garrity Interchange, eliminating a serious bottleneck near the on-ramp.
The new lane provides more storage area for vehicles, relieving pressure at the Garrity and Franklin interchanges.
It alleviates congestion in the case of an accident.
ITD strives to minimize inconveniences as much as possible throughout construction. Motorists also need to be committed to safe driving behaviors.