Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, December 16, 2018 ACHD's Road Wizard

Pavement patch on Fort Street near new roundabout causes concerns; dip on Beechwood Drive south of Franklin Street sign-worthy; gap on Meridian Road between Kuna city sign and Meridian city sign

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: After the roundabout behind St. Luke's Boise Medical Center at Reserve Street was finished, there was what looked like a sewer project that kept Fort Street closed for another couple of months. While I had some impatience thinking both projects could have been done at the same time, my frustration was tempered when thinking of the logistics of keeping traffic moving with both projects going on. However, now the sewer project has left me and my car rattled with the extremely poor paving. How did that rough surface ever pass ACHD's inspection? Even if more work is going to be done next year, the temporary surface should have been more professionally finished.

Dean

Road Wizard:

What looked like a sewer project was actually replacement work for geothermal lines under Fort Street. The City of Boise and its contractors handled the job.

It's possible that the project could have been done during the roundabout construction; ACHD tries to coordinate road work with other agency's utility work whenever possible. However, the geothermal project wasn't ready to start in time.

As for the pavement, ACHD will assess the condition and will require the contractor to make improvements if needed. ACHD and its inspectors monitor even non-ACHD projects such as utility work and developer projects, like the roundabout, and they must meet ACHD standards.

Dear Road Wizard: There is a wicked dip on Beechwood Drive, just south of Franklin Street. I didn't see any "DIP" signs approaching. Oversight, or did I just miss the sign?

Dave

Road Wizard:

ACHD installs "DIP" signs here and there, although some dips are more worthy of signage than others. The general rule is that if a driver can traverse a dip at the posted speed limit without significant discomfort, it doesn't qualify for a sign. But if it's to blame for a blow to the backside, it's sign-worthy.

The dip on Beechwood was built intentionally as a "valley" gutter in the street. ACHD has placed some markings near the dip, which is a sure indicator that "DIP" signs are going in soon.

Dear Road Wizard: First off, I just moved to the Treasure Valley and love your column. Stuff about traffic and layouts brings out the street geek in me! Usually when a roadway serves as a divider (border) for two cities, you will see city "welcome" signs across the street from each other. However, on Meridian Road, there is about a two-mile gap between the Kuna city sign and Meridian city sign. If this is correct, what's happening in this two-mile gap, and who's jurisdiction is this?

James

Road Wizard:

The quick answer is that when a person isn't in a city, they are in unincorporated land in the county, which is what the gap is in this case. It's not uncommon for county land to separate city limit lines.

City limits in Ada County can have a patchwork-quilt appearance. The city limits may start out nice and orderly, but as cities annex new developments, they push out here and there, sometimes leaving county land gaps. And that changes the city limits, sometimes in ways that make it impractical to keep up by moving the city limits signs. On Meridian Road, there are now several patches in the quilt where you drive in and then back out of the city limits of Meridian and Kuna.

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