Twin Falls Alternate Route ceremony planned Wednesday

The recent cold and wet weather has slowed construction crews as they near completion of stage II of the U.S. 93 Twin Falls Alternate Route, but opening of the roadway is near enough to celebrate the accomplishment.

The Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and ITD are leading a community ribbon cutting beginning at noon on Wednesday (Dec. 8) at the west end of the new Rock Creek Bridge. Members of Twin Falls Chamber, area elected officials and transportation leaders will be present for a short ceremony and ribbon cutting.

"The construction of this new roadway has created jobs and stimulated our local economy,” Chamber of Commerce President Shawn Barigar said.  “Now that it's complete, it will continue to support our local businesses as they move goods to market or bring goods here for sale.  And it will provide safe traveling for those of us who live here and visitors to the Twin Falls area."

The $26.6 million, 5.5-mile Alternate Route connects the U.S. 93/U.S. 30 junction to north Twin Falls. A project centerpiece is the new bridge over Rock Creek Canyon. The existing dirt fill and culvert was removed and the creek is being restored through that area as part of the project.

Through construction savings on the Alternate Route and other area projects, the construction was expanded to include the full four-lane configuration and a flyover structure for eastbound traffic from the Filer and Bushel areas.

“We’re as excited as everyone to see this roadway completed,” ITD District Engineer Dev in Rigby said. “It’s been a long time since this roadway was proposed and developed. Through all the challenges of construction, this has been an exciting project to be part of.”

Roadway opening and conclusion of construction is expected to take place within a few weeks. Winter weather has slowed completion of many necessary details. Attendees of the event are asked to take U.S. 93/30 west from Twin Falls to 2600 East Road, north to the new roadway and east to the Rock Creek Bridge (about two miles west from St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, two miles north, and east to the bridge).

W. W. Clayed Inc. of Springdale, Utah, is the contractor on the project. The first stage of the Twin Falls Alternate Route, from Blue Lakes Boulevard to Grand view Drive, was completed in 2006.

Photos: Rock Creek crossing before construction (below) and as the new bridge nears completion (above)

Published 12-3-2010