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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 9 - 15, 2002


ITD: Highway work almost done

May increase speed limit 
before month’s end

"There are no designated driving lanes and passing lanes. People need to get out of the habit of lining up in one lane and driving bumper to bumper."

—TOM LOGAN, ITD project manager

Express Staff Writer

An Idaho Transportation Department official said Monday that several side projects associated with the Alturas Drive to Timber Way expansion of Highway 75 at the new bridge near East Fork are nearing completion, and the speed limit through the stretch may soon be increased to 55 mph.

However, Tom Logan, ITD project manager, warned that the speed limit through the approximately three-mile construction zone will remain at 45 mph until road crews have finished all work in the area.

Logan noted that many motorists have failed to observe the 45-mph speed limit through the construction zone, especially since ITD opened several new lanes installed immediately north and south of the expanded bridge over the Big Wood River at Greenhorn Gulch.

"There has been a problem with speeders," he said. "It is still a construction zone and there are still some men working."

Logan estimated that the regular 55-mph speed limit through the zone would likely be reestablished "sometime in the next two weeks."

Crews this week will continue work to seed graded areas on the east and west sides of the highway with native grasses, Logan said. In addition, they must also install several new traffic signs, and ensure that the new traffic lights at the East Fork Road intersection—made fully operational on Monday—is working properly.

After installing the new stoplights at the four-way intersection, ITD crews put in new signs for Greenhorn Road—the improved road directly opposite East Fork Road—which will now serve as the primary route leading west from the highway to Greenhorn Gulch.

The longtime primary access road to Greenhorn Gulch that starts immediately north of the bridge, known as Greenhorn Gulch Road, will be renamed Golden Eagle Road, Logan said.

While motorists in the future will be able to access the Greenhorn Gulch valley from either of the two roads, Logan said they would be best served by using Greenhorn Road.

"It will be better to use the stoplight," he said. "Most people will get out onto the highway faster, especially if they’re turning north from the west side."

The new lights at the intersection will be triggered by traffic sensors in the pavement to ensure that motorists turning onto the highway from East Fork Road and Greenhorn Road do not wait for long periods of time, Logan added.

In recent weeks, crews have completed planting trees near the new pedestrian and bicycle tunnel under the highway near East Fork Road. Logan said 80 pine trees, 160 aspens and approximately 200 shrubs have been planted in the area.

The tunnel is open for use by the public, he said.

Despite the recent opening of the new lanes through the area, traffic during morning and evening commute hours has occasionally moved more slowly than anticipated. Logan said ITD has determined that many motorists have continued to travel in a single lane—typically the outside lane—instead of using all available lanes for travel.

"There are no designated driving lanes and passing lanes," he said. "People need to get out of the habit of lining up in one lane and driving bumper to bumper."



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