Thursday, February 27, 2014
Garden City – Beginning this summer, ACHD will begin making improvements on Bogus Basin Road—the first part of a multi-year plan to improve the popular recreational route. Starting at Hill Road and working all the way to Curling Drive, people making the trek up to Bogus will begin to see some big changes.
ACHD to improve Bogus Basin Road
"I’m just ecstatic about what ACHD’s going to do on this road," said Alan Moore, General Manager of Bogus Basin. "In a typical year, we see about 300,000 skiers up here, and these improvements are going to make their trip that much safer and easier."
Earlier this month, the ACHD Commission approved the overall plan for Bogus Basin that calls for spending an estimated $6.5 million over the next several years to repair the road and enhance safety.
The first phase of the project, beginning with an overlay from Hill Road to Curling Drive, is scheduled to begin late this summer. ACHD will also improve roadside drainage ditches, add more drainage and curb, remove and reset concrete barriers, repair road shoulders, and make other improvements to extend the life of the pavement and road base.
The same set of improvements is planned from Curling Drive to Milepost 3. Work on that portion of the road is scheduled for the next fiscal year, which starts in October.
Bogus Basn Road between Milepost 3 and Milepost 9 will be improved in the second phase of the project. ACHD will receive a federal grant from the Federal Lands Access Management Program for $2.9 million for the second phase of the project. It is a match program which will require Ada County Highway District to contribute 7.34 percent, or $214,842.
ACHD will budget and spend local funding on the project, and the federal government will reimburse the highway district monthly for the total project cost. This second portion of the project will be in design soon, and construction could begin as early as July 2015.
Future improvements between Milepost 3 and Milepost 9 will include excavation, more roadside ditches and drainage structures, adjusting the grade in some places, adding more signage, curbs, guardrails, removing and replacing some concrete barriers, improving slow-vehicle turnouts, shoulder repair, soft-spot repair, and making other improvements to extend the life of the pavement and road base.
In the final phase, the portion of Bogus Basin Road from Milepost 9 to the Bogus Basin parking lot (at Milepost 16) will also receive similar improvements. ACHD is seeking funding for this portion of the project, estimated to cost more than $3 million. The highway district will consider performing a heavy chipseal – a layer of asphalt and rock chips – on this portion of the road to improve conditions until funding can be secured and more permanent improvements can be made.
Bogus Basin Road was initially built in 1938 as a Forest Service road. The road was improved in 1961 to accommodate increased traffic largely produced by Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. Each year, the road receives increased traffic volumes, and improvements and safety upgrades are needed to keep the road safe and make for easier navigation.
During peak season, nearly 5,000 vehicles a day make the 15-mile journey to the top of Bogus Basin Road, and get there safely. Between 1997 and 2012, 505 accidents have been reported on the mountain road. Of those, authorities said 374 were driving at speeds too fast for the conditions. During that period, three have been fatalities.
While ACHD has identified several areas for improvement, Bogus Basin Road is always going to be a windy mountain road—one that requires a little extra caution when maneuvering. Winter conditions only compound the risks. The proposed improvements will make the road as safe as is possible for the terrain.