Friday, October 4, 2013

Weather slows highway construction

Contractor preparing winter traffic plan

Express Staff Writer

Construction continued Wednesday on state Highway 75 south of Ketchum. Shown here are Tom Stradley operating paving equipment and his son, Brian Stradley, keeping an eye on the work. Photo by Roland Lane

    The Idaho Transportation Department reported Wednesday that wet and cold weather conditions have caused further delays in road construction on state Highway 75 south of Ketchum. The agency earlier acknowledged that the project will not be completed until warmer weather arrives in 2014.
    In a press release, ITD reported that a winter traffic plan is being prepared by the contractor, Idaho Sand and Gravel Co. of Jerome. ITD reiterated an earlier statement that the contractor will be required to “maintain two lanes of traffic at all times with adequate space for snow removal.”
    ITD spokesman Nathan Jerke, in a construction update issued Wednesday, reported that utility work is nearly finished, as is removal of contaminated soils at the former Dean Tire location.
    Paving of the southbound lanes from the south end of the project to near Cold Springs Road is underway and will continue as long as weather allows. Jerke reported that “air temperature must be 40 degrees and rising, with at least mostly dry conditions, to meet paving specifications.”
    Jerke also reported that installation of a storm drain system between Hospital Drive access points on the highway could start as early as Oct. 8 and lead to a southbound traffic detour for up to two weeks.
    The 3.25-mile highway widening project runs from Timber Way just north of East Fork Road to the bridge over the Big Wood River near St. Luke’s Wood River hospital. When finished, the highway will have two lanes in both directions and center turning lanes and deceleration lanes at major intersections.
Terry Smith:

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