Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, November 13, 2016 ACHD's Road Wizard

Existing Interstate 184 truck traffic causes road wrinkle at Franklin Road; reader suggests special events avoid Front and Myrtle in Downtown Boise, Federal Way Overpass work pace seems slow compared to Broadway Bridge

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: On westbound Franklin Road at the left-hand turn onto the Interstate 184 Connector eastbound, there is a nasty asphalt wrinkle in the middle of the roadway as you turn. It was repaired about two years ago but came back almost immediately. I use this turn frequently and it's taking a toll on my (and others') suspension. Could you please put it on your list of potholes, etc. that need attending to?

Road Wizard:

Turning movements from trucks coming off of the Connector and heading west on Franklin caused the original wrinkle, but why it reappeared so soon is a head-scratcher. It doesn't seem to be old age.

This time, repairs will be made with a stiffer asphalt mix. However, the high-traffic location may require detour routes while crews are in the intersection, and nighttime work may be necessary.

Due to these logistic wrinkles, a local paving contractor will handle the job. It may be several weeks before repairs begin, and ACHD may add a little temporary asphalt to smooth things out in the meantime.

Dear Road Wizard: I read your post about the "Onward Shay!" race through Downtown Boise. I would like to add something that everyone seems to keep overlooking. The Myrtle/Front corridor is the main ingress/egress route for pretty much everything east of downtown. Every time one of these events happen, particularly on top of the absurd amount of construction closures, it's almost like putting up a wall and telling East and Southeast Boise, "Yeah, you can just stay home today; you're not going anywhere." With the corridor situation being what it is, the approvals for these kinds of events needs to stop.

Road Wizard:

Driver frustration is understandable. After all, roads may be closed or traffic delayed for events that could last several hours.

ACHD isn't in the business of encouraging running events. The agency's role is to ensure the traffic control plan is solid and impacts traffic as little as possible. ACHD encourages event organizers to pick one side or the other of Myrtle and Front streets so both routes aren't impacted simultaneously. The high cost of temporary traffic control at locations along the corridor also prevent many, but not all, similar events.

There are city leaders and event organizers who appreciate high-profile downtown locations, and those events often go very well. Unfortunately, for Onward Shay! there were problems with the execution of the traffic control plan that led to unnecessary traffic disruptions.

Dear Road Wizard: The Broadway Bridge river crossing by Boise State University may be receiving plaudits for the speed and diligence with which it was recently constructed, but what is going on farther down Broadway at the Federal Way Overpass? What is taking so long for that bridge to simply be resurfaced? Traffic is in absolute gridlock all day.

Road Wizard:

Both the Broadway Bridge and the Federal Way Overpass work were Idaho Transportation Department projects. A big difference is Broadway at the river crossing location was closed entirely for the bridge rebuild. Crews could easily stage equipment and didn't have to work around moving traffic.

The now-completed Federal Way Overpass maintenance work was much smaller in scope, but the bridge stayed open to traffic. That was appreciated, although the side-effect of a slower construction pace and the resulting backups were tough to tolerate at times.

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