Friday, March 8, 2013

Highway reconstruction set to start soon

ITD expects to award contract within next several weeks


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Sometime within the next several weeks, the Idaho Transportation Department expects to choose a contractor for reconstruction of a 3.25-mile section of state Highway 75 south of Ketchum.

Actual road construction, from Timber Way north of East Fork Road to the bridge over the Big Wood River near St. Luke’s Wood River, is expected to start in mid-April and last throughout the summer and early fall.

The project involves widening the roadway to four lanes with intermittent center turn lanes, widening road shoulders to 8 feet and constructing deceleration lanes at the Gimlet Road, Cold Springs Drive and south Broadway Run intersections. Also, a new light will be installed at the intersection of Hospital Drive.

ITD has estimated project cost at $19.1 million.

The project is the first phase of a Highway 75 expansion project that if eventually funded would provide for widening of the highway all the way from Timmerman Junction to Saddle Road in north Ketchum. ITD does not know if or when funding will be available to complete the entire project.

ITD spokesman Nathan Jerke said bid opening for the 3.25-mile reconstruction is set for Tuesday, March 12, and that a contract would be awarded within the following two to four weeks.

“It goes through a review process to make sure there’s no major mistakes on the bid,” he said.

Jerke said ITD expects numerous road construction companies to bid on the work, but by law the agency is required to award the contract to the lowest responsible bidder.

“We’re thinking it’s going to be a pretty competitive bid and they’ll give us a good price,” he said

Jerke said ITD hopes the project can be finished by early November, but the contract would allow work to spill into the following spring if necessary.

“If all things go as well as possible, there’s a good chance it could be completed this year,” he said.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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