Friday, June 4, 2010

Public invited to review H-75 plans

Meeting on highway project set for Tuesday

Express Staff Writer

Traffic slows on state Highway 75 between Ketchum and Hailey. Photo by Mountain Express

The Idaho Transportation Department will host a public meeting Tuesday, June 8, to accept comments on the first leg of an extensive reconstruction project of state Highway 75 in the Wood River Valley.

The meeting, an open house format, is scheduled from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Kentwood Lodge, 180 S. Main St. in Ketchum. Displays will be available, ITD staff will answer questions and a hearing officer will take verbal comments.

The first phase of the "Timmerman-to-Ketchum" highway project encompasses a 3.25-mile stretch of highway between Timber Way, just north of East Fork Road, and the Big Wood River Bridge near St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, south of Ketchum.

ITD reported in a news release that the design for the first phase is now 40 percent complete. The design includes widening the highway to two lanes in each direction with intermittent center turn lanes for access to residences and businesses. It also includes bus turnouts, new acceleration and deceleration lanes and a new traffic signal at the intersection with Hospital Drive.

The first phase of the project is estimated to cost $19 million. Although ITD reported that funding is secure for the first phase, construction is not scheduled to start until 2013.

The overall project involves reconstruction and expansion of the roadway along the 27-mile stretch of highway from Timmerman Junction south of Bellevue to Saddle Road in north Ketchum. The whole project is estimated to cost $250 million. Funding is not yet secured for the entire project and ITD has not yet released a construction schedule.

Terry Smith:

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