2012 has been a great year for the Idaho Transportation Department, especially in District 5. This year they celebrated the completion of a major project that was first started back when Dirk Kempthorne was governor.
ITD is currently working on some safety improvements along both I-15 and I-86. Earlier this year the celebration the completion on the newly expanded section of US 30 that runs from McCammon to Lava Hot Springs.
“The main thing on US 30 is that it is a major trucking route here in the district,” said Brian Poole Engineering Manager for ITD. “And when you mix cars and trucks, sometimes bad things happen because of the differential speeds, size and everything. And to have extra lanes actually adds to the safety so that the cars and trucks can get around each other. There’s less conflicts with passing and having to find gaps in traffic coming the other direction.”
Safety is the goal for ITD and it’s something that work at throughout the year. Currently they have crews installing new signage along the freeways.
“The interstate was built back in the late 60s and so the signs were showing their age,” continued Poole. “This money has to be spent on what we call safety improvements and having good legible signs up is one of the things we can spend this money on.”
As 2012 comes to a close, Brian says they have some exciting things coming in 2013.
“Our two next biggest projects are the Chubbuck interchange was just bid and awarded and we’ll be changing that interchange to a “diverging diamond” next summer,” said Poole. “And then the city project, the Cheyenne Crossing is supposed to be submitted and whether or not it gets bid for next year but those are probably our two big projects coming up.”
An open house discussing the new “diverging diamond” interchange will be coming up shortly and the public is encouraged to attend.