Ceremony heralds beginning of project
A recent cold, damp day didn’t deter a hearty band of individuals from celebrating the official start of the U.S. 95, Wyoming to Idaho 53 project. About 30 people joined Idaho Transportation Board member and emcee Jim Coleman, Rep. Frank Henderson, Sen. Jim Hammond, and Katie Brodie, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s northern Idaho representative, in celebrating the groundbreaking of the important project.
Coleman especially thanked Rep. Henderson for taking a special interest in the project, informally known as "The Gap" project. It will re-construct 2.2 miles of U.S. 95 from a two-lane, undivided highway to a four-lane divided highway, eliminating a bottleneck and improving safety.
“Rep. Henderson worked very hard to secure the funding for the Wyoming project,” Coleman said. “He is the reason we’re standing here today, celebrating the beginning of construction.”
Gov. Otter, in a letter to ITD Director Brian Ness, reiterated his commitment to the safety of Idaho citizens as they travel on the state highway system.
“Expanding this section of highway to a continuous four lanes with a stoplight at the Intersection of Lancaster and 95 will be a tremendous step toward protecting citizens and visitors from property damage, injury and worse,” the governor wrote.
In addition to widening the roadway and installing the traffic signal at Lancaster Road, the project includes a separated bike/pedestrian path on the south side of the intersection. It will connect with the existing bike path adjacent to U.S. 95.
Total cost for the project, including design, is $11.4 million. It is one of eight additional projects funded statewide by savings from other federal stimulus projects. The contractor is Interstate Concrete and Asphalt, of Coeur d’Alene.