Access to Meridian from Interstate 84 just got easier
The Press-Tribune, Nampa
The $33.8 million project began in August 2009 and adds a new access point to the busy stretch of Interstate-84 between Boise and Canyon County.
The opening of the Ten Mile Interchange will be great news for our community as well as the region as a whole, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said.
"That six-mile stretch between the Meridian Interchange and the Garrity Interchange has challenged that traffic access and circulation...I think it's certainly is an asset to West Ada County and East Canyon County providing citizens in both those two counties with greater access."
Although the interchange is open, construction will continue below the bridge on the median section with some lane restrictions until that work is complete. Warmer months are best for the paving that will take place on the median section.
"The project should be fully complete, including all landscaping, by early August," said ITD's Reed Hollinshead said.
About the interchange
Traffic engineers say the design is more efficient for drivers because all turning movements are controlled by a central set of signals. Motorists only stop once at the center of the interchange, instead of twice as at other interchanges.
"The interchange design is a good long-term choice for Meridian," Jason Brinkman, GARVEE Program Manager for ITD, said in a press release. "The engineering analysis showed that the design created fewer delays and improved efficiency when compared to a traditional diamond interchange design."
Commercial development in the interchange area
"With any access that is created or improved you see gas stations, entertainment options, convenience stores," Hollinshead said. "All of those things are anticipated in that area."
For business owners already in the area it will also bring better access.
"Essentially it brings more people past your front door. More traffic, more visibility," Hollinshead said.
Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said the city worked on an area specific plan to encourage smart development in the interchange area.
"We have put in a vision for that area that has mixed employment and commercial, office and industrial areas with high density that is well planned and integrated with the transportation spine," she said.
The mayor said they hope to attract many new businesses to the area, with some who already plan to start construction this summer.
"As a community you cannot build yourself out of congestion, but you can bring jobs closer," de Weerd said. "We do hope that we can get those needed jobs closer to where people are living.
Work between the Garrity and Franklin interchanges in Nampa will continue through early 2012, he said, at which time all planned projects in the area on the freeway will be complete.
Since improvements have already been made to the Robinson and Black Cat overpasses on I-84, Hollinshead said the only possible future project in that stretch will be the improvement of the Meridian Interchange, although no definite plans have been made for that yet. Improvements for the stretch of I-84 between Nampa and Caldwell are also possible in the future.
Ten Mile Interchange by the numbers