Friday, October 25, 2013

Warm weather aids highway work

ITD promises 2 lanes to be kept open during winter

Express Staff Writer

     The Idaho Transportation Department reported Wednesday that warm and dry weather for the past two weeks allowed significant progress on its construction project on state Highway 75 south of Ketchum.

     ITD earlier acknowledged that the work won’t be done this year and that construction will resume when warmer weather arrives in 2014. ITD and the contractor, Idaho Sand and Gravel Co., of Jerome, have yet to finalize a winter traffic plan because the state of construction when cold weather brings work to a halt is not yet known.

     Nonetheless, ITD spokesman Nathan Jerke reported in a construction update issued Wednesday that two lanes of traffic, with wide shoulders, will be maintained throughout the winter. Also, access points for roads and businesses along the stretch of highway will be maintained, he said.

Two lanes of traffic, with wide shoulders,
will be maintained throughout the winter.

     Jerke reported that ITD anticipates that new lanes of traffic built west of the existing roadway will likely be finished before a winter shutdown. If they are finished, traffic will be shifted to the new lanes for the winter and the old roadway will not be used. Jerke reported that there will not be room for a center turn lane, such as existed on the old roadway, if the new lanes are used this winter.

     The road work is on a 3.5-mile stretch of highway from Timber Lane 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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