Ada County drivers should prepare for an unusually large amount of road construction by the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) on local roads this year. A big part of the reason is that ACHD received more than $13 million in federal stimulus funds, most of which will go toward putting new roadway surfaces (overlays) on deteriorated asphalt.
The stimulus work, combined with ACHD’s normal summer routine of major roadway improvements and the maintenance of local streets, will mean a lot of work will occur simultaneously this construction season. "It will seem like ACHD is doing work everywhere," said ACHD Construction Supervisor Justin Bledsoe. "It's going to be very busy." Plus, many pedestrian improvements will be underway.
ACHD normally does only two or three sections of federally-funded road overlays each year. Because of stimulus funding, more than 40 sections of federally-funded overlays will be done this year. It adds up to nearly 30 miles of federal stimulus road resurfacing. "One of the good things about overlay projects is that each project typically takes only a couple of weeks and there are rarely any road closures,” Bledsoe said. Other locally funded resurfacing projects as well as four large road construction projects will also keep ACHD staff busy. More than a dozen sidewalk and pathway construction projects will be done by ACHD in 2010. And in addition to that work, more than 150 sidewalk locations will be updated to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards, which require detectable warning strips as well as curb ramps at intersections so the sidewalks are more user-friendly for people who use wheelchairs or have visual impairments.
Planning your commute
ACHD is providing detailed information on its Web site so drivers can make their commute easier. ACHD’s Road Work in the Area service is online and updated daily. It includes a quick reference map showing where work is occurring. ACHD traffic cameras are online and allow drivers to view traffic conditions before they head out.
These resources can be found at ACHD’s new Web address, www.achdidaho.org. This address replaces the old, tough-to-remember address, which was www.achd.ada.id.us.
2010 construction project highlights (find a complete list at www.achdidaho.org)
Federal Stimulus-Funded Road Overlays
• Resurface and improve more than 40 road segments
• The overlay work will begin in May and will run through fall 2010
• Construction cost: $10 million
Deer Flat Road, Meridian Road (SH 69) to Ten Mile Road
• Widen road and add paved shoulders
• Construction is underway with completion planned for early June
• Construction cost: $440,000
Eagle Road, Victory Road to the Ridenbaugh Canal
• Widen Eagle/Victory intersection to accommodate five lanes with curb, gutter, sidewalk and bike lanes
• Widen Eagle to five lanes, including sidewalk and bike lanes
• Construction will start in May 2010 with completion expected in May 2011
• Construction cost: $2.6 million
Ten Mile Road, Franklin Road to Cherry Lane
• Funded in part through new local vehicle registration fees, the project will widen Ten Mile Road from Franklin Road to Cherry Lane from two lanes to five lanes and will include sidewalks and bike lanes. It will also accommodate future traffic volumes anticipated from the Idaho Transportation Department’s new Ten Mile interchange on Interstate 84.
• Construction is underway and is scheduled to wrap up in August 2010
• Construction cost: $4.5 million
Five Mile Road and Fairview Avenue intersection
• Increase capacity by adding lanes at the intersection on both Five Mile and Fairview
• Construction is underway with completion scheduled for September 2010
• Construction cost: $2.4 million
Note: Due to the nature of road construction, dates and costs may be subject to change. Construction costs are rounded.
ACHD manages all of the local roads of Ada County. The Interstate and state roads such as the highway portion of Eagle Road (SH 55) and Chinden (SH 20-26) are managed by the Idaho Transportation Department.