Friday, March 7, 2014

ITD gears up for next Highway 75 project

Road construction and bridge replacement planned for 2016


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

ITD hasn’t yet decided what to do with the ditches used for water retention along a 3.75-mile construction zone south of St. Luke’s Wood River. With this week’s heavy rains, some of the ditches in the northern part of the zone are holding water that is several feet deep. Photo by Roland Lane

    The Idaho Transportation Department announced this week that it has begun preliminary work for the second phase of construction for a state Highway 75 widening project.
    The second phase, identified as the “Big Wood River Bridge to Elkhorn Road” reconstruction project, involves replacement of the highway bridge near St. Luke’s Wood River hospital and expansion of the roadway to accommodate two lanes of traffic in each direction. Construction is planned to begin in 2016.
    According to a project fact sheet distributed by ITD, the agency plans extensive public involvement, including frequent stakeholder meetings and public information meetings.


There’s a lot of stakeholder meetings underway.”
Walter Burnside
ITD


“There’s a lot of stakeholder meetings underway,” ITD Project Development Engineer Walter Burnside said at a Thursday morning meeting of the Blaine County Regional Transportation Committee.
    A schedule that Burnside handed out at the meeting shows that beginning next week and running into April, numerous meetings will be held with local officials, agencies, businesses and property owners who may be affected or have a “stake” in the construction project.
    Meetings are set up with the Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey, the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission, the Blaine County Recreation District, Idaho State Police, Blaine County Road
and Bridge and the Sun Valley Water and Sewer District. Other meetings have been scheduled with Mountain Rides Transportation Authority, St. Luke’s Wood River, the Ketchum Fire Department, the Ketchum and Sun Valley city councils, the Blaine County commissioners and the homeowners associations at Lane Ranch, River’s Edge and River Ranch.
    Burnside said ITD is trying to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the project.
    In addition to stakeholder communications, initial work, now underway, includes survey and mapping, traffic analysis, utility coordination, geotechnical investigations and preliminary bridge and road design.
    Environmental evaluations, considering wetlands, wildlife and vegetation, will start this spring and continue into summer 2015.
    Final design is planned to be completed by fall 2015. The project is scheduled to be let for bids in late 2015 and a contractor selected in early 2016. Construction is planned to begin in the spring of 2016 and may run into the following year.
    Burnside estimated development costs for the project at about $700,000, and projected actual construction costs at between $3.5 million and $4.5 million.
    The project will tie in to the first construction phase, which was started last summer and will continue this year. That phase involves widening a 3.75-mile section of the highway from Timber Way just north of East Fork Road to the Big Wood River bridge near St. Luke’s.
    “Right now we’re still in winter shutdown,” Burnside said. “It’s looking like late April or early May to start. We want to get in and finish it.”
    In an interview Thursday, ITD spokesman Nathan Jerke said the agency has not yet made a decision regarding the “ditches” being used for water retention along much of the 3.75-mile phase one construction zone.
    ITD officials said earlier that an initial plan to leave the ditches as they are is being reconsidered, but that extensive reconstruction of the ditches would erode funds for the phase two bridge replacement, a prospect that local officials earlier did not find desirous.
    With this week’s heavy rains, some of the ditch sections in the north part of the construction zone are holding several feet of water and are close to capacity.
    The phase one and phase two construction projects are part of an overall plan that has been in the works for close to 15 years to widen the highway from Timmerman Junction south of Bellevue to Saddle Road in north Ketchum.
    ITD has secured $27 million in federal funding for the work. That money is expected to pay for both phase one and phase two construction and for federally required wetlands mitigation. Funding is uncertain for the remainder of the expansion project.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.