If weather conditions are favorable, improvements to the Woodruff Avenue and 17th Street intersection are scheduled to begin on Monday, March 13. The intersection will be widened to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and accommodate forecasted population growth.
The construction schedule will be adjusted accordingly if weather conditions warrant. During construction there will be significant impacts to traffic. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes. The traveling public should expect traffic delays, detours, and various lane and road closures. Accommodations will be made by the contractor to keep access to sidewalks and adjacent properties open.
The intersection has operated over capacity during peak hours with motorists experiencing delays of more than 1.5 minutes. Without intersection improvements, forecasted traffic for 2040 show a 30 percent increase in traffic demand resulting in a 2.5 to 4 minute delay.
Idaho Falls Public Works Director Chris Fredericksen states, “We anticipated starting the project last spring but encountered issues with finding contractors to bid on the project because of various economic challenges. We are pleased to be moving forward with the improvements this year.”
Barring unforeseen conditions, including supply chain issues and inclement weather, the project will be finished this fall.
Improvements include an additional left turn lane and a dedicated right turn lane on each intersection approach, as well as updates to the waterline, curb, gutter, landscaping, and traffic signal. Idaho Falls Power will remove power poles and run existing fiber and power underground.
“When complete the intersection will look and function much like the intersection at Sunnyside Road and Hitt Road,” explains Fredericksen.
Periodic nighttime work, from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., will be needed to expedite construction activities that would cause even more traffic impacts if they were to be done during the day.
Personnel from Idaho Falls Public Works and its contractors will schedule regular on-site meetings with adjacent property owners and be in communication regarding plans and timelines, concerns, and potential challenges. Details regarding these meetings will be provided to the property owners in the coming days.
Please reduce speeds, obey posted traffic control signage, and watch for construction crews throughout the work zone.
For questions or concerns about this project, contact Knife River at (208) 523-8282.For additional information about this project or any other planned construction project in Idaho Falls, click HERE to view the interactive construction map.
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Media Contact: Kerry Hammon, Public Information Officer, (208) 612-8122 or [email protected].