Friday, February 24, 2006

Highway comments are due


The proposed widening and re-engineering of state Highway 75 is the largest public works project ever to be undertaken in the Wood River Valley and certainly one that touches and affects more lives than any proposal to come this way in memory.

Construction in segments will take years.

So, it's worth a reminder that today is the official deadline for sending the Idaho Transportation Department public comments on the project—pro or con—for inclusion in the final Environmental Impact Statement due this year.

It's too late for traditional mail. So, residents who want to be heard will need to FAX their comments to Ms. Gwen Smith, Idaho Transportation Department, (208) 334-8563. Or, they can e-mail them to: Gwen.Smith@ITD.Idaho.gov.

The bulky, 1,200-page draft study of the 27-mile long, $110 million-plus project has been available at city halls in the valley since mid-December, and was displayed in pieces at an open house in late January.

The most likely sources of comment at this late hour probably are those who took time to study the draft study or attend the open house and ask questions of state and federal officials.

One feature that attracted a lot of support from those who studied the plan was HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes for preferred traffic carrying multiple passengers.

We urge better-late-than-never comments and suggestions to ITD as useful contributions to a project that will have a profound impact on life in the south central Idaho region for generations to come.




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