Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Open house set on highway expansion

Public invited to review final road design


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    The Idaho Transportation Department is inviting Blaine County residents to review the final design for the first construction phase of an expansion plan for state Highway 75.
    The final design can be reviewed at an open house scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 13, from 4-7 p.m. at the Kentwood Lodge, 180 S. Main St. in Ketchum.


The final design specifies that the highway will be widened to two lanes in each direction with an intermittent center turn lane.


    According to ITD, the federally funded project remains on schedule with construction planned to begin in the spring. The project involves expansion only of a 3.75-mile section of highway between Timber Way, just north of East Fork Road, and the bridge over the Big Wood River near St. Luke’s Wood River.
    The final design specifies that the highway will be widened to two lanes in each direction with an intermittent center turn lane for access to residences and businesses. Shoulders will be widened to 8 feet and deceleration lanes will be constructed at Gimlet Road, Cold Springs Drive and Broadway Run.
    The entire expansion project involves widening and improving a 28-mile section of highway from Timmerman Junction north to Saddle Road in Ketchum, at a cost of least $200 million.
    ITD has so far received about $27 million, for design and construction of the 3.75-mile section, wetlands mitigation and design only of a new bridge and highway from the Big Wood River bridge near the hospital north to the intersection of Elkhorn Road.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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