cause traffic delays
Four projects to
continue this week
Express Staff Writer
Transportation Department official says four separate road-improvement
projects currently under way in the northern Wood River Valley could
continue to disrupt traffic along commuter routes in weeks to come.
crews last week used a backhoe to dig up and remove a partially
landscaped center island on Highway 75 just south of its intersection
with Elkhorn Road. The extra space will be used to widen the four
traffic lanes that pass through the area. Express
photo by David N. Seelig
Logan, ITD project manager for the state’s Alturas to Timber Way
expansion of Highway 75, said a delay in opening several new lanes on
the highway will likely continue until the end of the month.
earlier this summer estimated that the project would be completed and
open to motorists by Labor Day, Sept. 2.
said road crews have yet to complete several parts of the project,
including the installation of highway signs and new traffic signals
along the approximately 2.3-mile stretch of highway.
addition, crews from Idaho Sand & Gravel must bring in special
machinery to smooth out the new road surface installed in late August,
after which a final set of lane boundaries and signals will be painted
on both the east and west sides of the highway, Logan said.
probably looking at another three to four weeks," he said Friday.
section of highway will essentially expand the highway to three lanes—two
northbound and one southbound—from a point just north of Ohio Gulch
Road to Greenhorn Gulch Road, after which it will be widened to five
lanes through its intersection with East Fork Road.
north, along an approximately half-mile stretch of Highway 75
immediately south of its intersection with Elkhorn Road, crews from
Bellevue-based Valley Paving started grinding up and removing the old
road surface Sept. 3—in a process called milling—so it can be
last week caused significant delays for northbound commuters, many of
whom were slowed to a crawl as they drove through the mid-section of the
valley. During the morning commute, motorists generally needed a full
hour to travel from Hailey to Ketchum or Sun Valley.
crews last week removed a continuous island that separated the two
northbound and two southbound lanes through the area, and will
eventually install four new, wider lanes, Logan said.
lanes will be 12-feet wide, while the old lanes were a
"substandard" 10.5-feet wide, Logan said.
said the center island—which was installed in 1994—was removed
because it was considered an inconvenience by some motorists and caused
damage to the highway sub-surface.
had so many complaints from people over the years," he said.
"It’s been a hazard and an eyesore, and also moisture got in
around the planters and damaged the highway underneath."
estimated the paving of the Elkhorn Road section would be done by next
downtown Ketchum, Valley Paving crews on Saturday started removing the
asphalt surface of Highway 75 from River Street to a point just past
Fifth Avenue, in preparation for resurfacing the section of road over
the course of the next week.
said the paving work along the stretch should be completed by Wednesday,
along Main Street have been warned to remove breakable items from their
shelves during the paving project, as machinery used in the process can
cause vibrations that might shake buildings and cause the items to fall.
Paving crews have also been contracted by ITD to resurface approximately
3.5 miles of Sun Valley Road, from downtown Ketchum east to the U.S.
Forest Service boundary just past Trail Creek Cabin.
said most work on the project will take place after work in Ketchum is
road crews this weekend started milling the western section of the
noted that construction crews have planned to install a daytime detour
on Saddle Road to downtown Ketchum around the western end of the Sun
Valley Road project "during the first few days of paving."
noted that the intersection of Sun Valley Road and Saddle Road will not