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The Idaho Transportation Department is reviewing public input on a variety of designs put forth as part of plans to improve state Highway 75 south of Ketchum.

The Idaho Transportation Department is reviewing input on conceptual design options to improve state Highway 75 from a point south of Elkhorn Road, south of Ketchum, north to River Street, on the south end of town.

Last month, ITD hosted an online discussion about the project, as well as an open-house meeting to discuss design options and answer questions.

ITD is planning the project in response to growth and development causing increased congestion on Highway 75. The department has drafted various design plans for widening the highway between Elkhorn Road and River Street, rebuilding the Trail Creek Bridge on the south end of Ketchum, and improving drainage and other infrastructure in the area. Options in a variety of draft designs consider:

  • Reducing the speed limit south of Elkhorn Road from 45 mph to 35 mph.
  • Upgrading and replacing the traffic signal at the Elkhorn Road intersection.
  • Adding a northbound right turn lane south of Elkhorn Road.
  • Adding additional travel lanes between Elkhorn Road and Serenade Lane.
  • Making changes to center turn lanes.
  • Eliminating some on-street parking.

“In the coming weeks, the project team will review all comments and begin arriving upon a recommended design going forward,” ITD Project Manager Nathan Jerke said in a written update to stakeholders. “This recommendation will be determined by ITD with coordination from the Federal Highway Administration. We also plan to meet with the local jurisdictions prior to final decisions.”

Some residents of the community have expressed strong opinions, Jerke noted.

“Needless to say, there are some very strong beliefs held by many community members in regard to this process and forthcoming design decision,” he said. “While we know some are frustrated by the process and may be upset by the outcomes, ITD and our project team is working from our best understanding of individual and community values and desires for the future of the highway.”

ITD expects to draft final design plans next year. The estimated period of construction is 2025-2026.

Comments on the existing draft designs are now closed. People can view displays and videos at: https://itdprojects.org/community-discussions/idaho-75-elkhorn-road-to-river-street/.

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