The Ada County Highway District (ACHD), utilizing Federal Funding, proposes to reconstruct Franklin Road, from 350 feet west of Five Mile Road to 170 feet east of Touchmark Way. Project activities include:
Purpose and Need
The purpose of this project is to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance pedestrian safety.
The project is needed to accommodate increases in public and commercial traffic by the year 2030 in both Meridian and Boise. Once this project is completed, Franklin Road from Linder Road to Cole Road will be a continuous five-lane corridor.
Originally, construction was scheduled for fiscal year 2009. However, due to decreased revenues and increased construction costs, this project, as did the majority of ACHD projects in the Five-Year Work Plan, slipped back two years. Currently, construction is scheduled to begin November 2011.
Proposed Construction Phases
The project area will remain open to traffic with a minimum of one lane open in each direction during the period of reconstruction.
Contract special provisions will be included in the construction contract to address traffic control for the project and provide direction to the contractor on the minimum standards allowable for maintaining traffic. These special provisions will be developed in accordance with Idaho Transportation Department policy and standards and with input from ACHD.
Alternative Courses of Action
During the concept development, alternatives were investigated to best utilize the existing right-of-way and to be sensitive about impacts to adjacent properties. The selected alternative was based on meeting capacity needs and includes modifications to reduce disruptions to adjacent properties. Those modifications consisted of moving the Franklin/Cloverdale intersection to the southwest to decrease the impacts on parking and the Idaho Power Sub-station.
A no-build alternative was also considered, but since it would not accommodate anticipated increases in private, public and commercial traffic to the year 2030, it was not deemed practical.
Alternate project locations
Approximately five acres of right-of-way will be acquired for the project. This includes right-of-way to accommodate the additional turn lanes on Cloverdale Road, as well as additional right-of-way along Franklin Road to accommodate the widening.
Right-of-way is set approximately two feet beyond the back of the future sidewalk. Current accesses (driveways) will be maintained unless otherwise negotiated in the right-of-way process.
Proposed mitigation procedures
Approximately .24 acres of wetlands will be impacted by this project. The consumed wetlands will be mitigated according to Federal Highway Administration's and the U.S. Army Corps of EngineersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ policies.
A noise impact evaluation was conducted for this project as per requirements of the Federal Highway Administration. The evaluation concluded that no noise barrier walls will be constructed for this project.
Engineering, social, economic and environmental impacts
The project will improve the traffic flow in this part of Meridian and Boise providing social, economic and environmental benefits (e.g. air quality) over the way the existing roadway functions.
Impacts of the project include: noise and wetlands. Mitigation measures have been proposed for these impacts in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements.
Sound walls or noise barriers are solid obstructions or walls built between a roadway and homes in order to reduce noise levels. In order to be effective the wall should extend 4 times as far in each direction as the distance between the house and roadway. Too many openings in a sound wall, for driveways or intersecting streets, render it ineffective.
For the Franklin Road project, noise levels were measured and the effectiveness of potential sound walls was evaluated.
None of the locations were deemed feasible for a wall as the number of driveway openings, that would require breaks in the wall, would destroy the wall's effectiveness.