The Idaho Transportation Department plans to repave Main Street in Hailey in 2021, and by 2025 will make safety improvements to Timmerman Junction south of Bellevue.

According to ITD, the Main Street project—funded by the Federal Highway Administration—will address two main issues: a lack of ADA-compliant curb ramps and uneven pavement.

Wheelchair-accessible ramp construction will begin in May 2021, while roadwork will likely commence that July, ITD project manager Steve Hunter said.

“The roadwork will consist of removing all of the existing asphalt, recompacting the base and then constructing new pavement,” Hunter said.

At a meeting Thursday at the Old Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey, members of the Blaine County Regional Transportation Committee discussed how to minimize delays and construction noise for Hailey residents and businesses along Main Street.

Walter Burnside, ITD’s district operations manager, said many pros and cons had yet to be weighed. One option presented was sectioning the project into eight or nine blocks at a time; another was keeping two lanes open at all times.

“We have to choose how we’ll impact the public as little as possible,” Burnside said.

An open-house discussion is scheduled for Oct. 17 in Hailey.

Hazardous intersections

Discussions about high-risk intersections and the need for traffic lights also cropped up Thursday.

Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Will Fruehling mentioned two Highway 75 intersections of concern: the junctions of Highway 20 (Timmerman Junction) and Ohio Gulch Road north of Hailey.

“It seems like we’ve had more crashes there and gotten more questions from the public about their safety,” Fruehling said.

In order to install a stoplight at Ohio Gulch Road, Burnside said more than a dozen conditions would need to be satisfied.

Mountain Rides spokeswoman Kim MacPherson said that if a stoplight were implemented, a bus stop would become more feasible.

“We get in a number of calls throughout the year that say, ‘Why don’t you stop at Ohio Gulch,’ but we just can’t drop people off in the middle of the highway,” she said.

As for Timmerman Junction, ITD plans to add flashing diamond signs for northbound-southbound lanes that would activate upon sensing east-west traffic. Though the current addition is projected for 2025, Burnside said its lower cost will likely bump it up on the project list.

Fruehling endorsed the proposed signs.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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