Idaho Falls reopens major intersection after months of construction - East Idaho News
Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls reopens major intersection after months of construction

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The following is a news release from the city of Idaho Falls.

IDAHO FALLS — There will be less congestion and motorists will experience a smoother flow of traffic with the completion of the 17th Street and Woodruff Avenue intersection improvement project.

All lanes of traffic will reopen on Thursday, Oct. 5.

Planning for the project began years ago, with meetings with property owners dating back to 2018. Idaho Falls Public Works originally planned to start the work in the spring of 2022 but received no bids which pushed the project start date to April 2023.

“We knew this year’s construction season would be a challenging one with all of the improvements that needed to be completed between us, the Idaho Transportation Department, various utilities, and developers,” said Public Works Director Chris Fredericksen. “There was significant coordination going on behind the scenes. We recognize and appreciate everyone’s efforts and great work, as well as our community’s patience with the impacts during construction. While we’re still finishing up a few city projects, we’re very pleased to say that the majority were finished either on time or very close to the anticipated completion dates.”

The improvements to the 17th and Woodruff intersection were necessary due to population growth resulting in the intersection operating at over capacity levels during peak hours, with motorists experiencing delays of more than 1.5 minutes. Forecasted traffic flow data showed a 30 percent increase in demand, resulting in a 2.5 to 4-minute delay by the year 2040 without intersection improvements.

The improvements included an additional left turn lane and a dedicated right turn lane on each intersection approach, as well as updates to waterlines, curb, gutter, landscaping, and the traffic signal. Concrete medians were added to restrict left turns and reduce traffic accidents. Idaho Falls Power removed power poles and ran the existing fiber and power lines underground.

To date, the total cost of the project approaches $7 million. Federal funding was used to complete this project.