NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodJerome


With the South Jerome Interchange now under construction, can roads catch up to Magic Valley growth?

Posted at 7:30 PM, Feb 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 21:30:10-05

JEROME, Idaho — Road projects around the Magic Valley are trying to catch up with the increase in traffic, and aging infrastructure. Work has officially begun on an interchange in Jerome that will give the area a new look, and facilitate traffic in a quickly growing area.

  • ITD broke ground on preliminary stages of the South Jerome Interchange at exit 168 on Interstate 84.
  • A portion of E Frontage Road N has been closed, and detours are in place to allow access to businesses.
  • The interchange construction is expected to be complete around the same time as the I-84 widening projectbetween Twin Falls and Jerome, in late 2025.
A map showing the February closure on E Frontage Rd N in Jerome. Courtesy ITD

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

If you've lived in the Magic Valley long, there's a fair chance you know Con Paulos.

"We've been in Jerome 45 years. This is our third location,” Con Paulos told Idaho News 6. “So … we’ve been around for a while."

Paulos's Chevy dealership on Frontage Road at I-84 and South Lincoln in Jerome is an institution in the community with a front-row seat to the city's changes, and challenges with growth.

"The traffic has probably quadrupled in the last 15 years, based on what we see on the freeway and in the interchange,” Paulos said, “And that's why you have all the growth here.”

But Paulos says growth isn't always a problem.

"It's going to bring more traffic. More traffic means more opportunity to do business," Paulos said.

The Idaho Transportation Department is in the process of improving the interchange where South Lincoln crosses over the interstate — right outside the front door of the dealership.

"The bridges involved interchange are old and they needed replacement so we started looking at replacing the bridge at functioning," said Megan Jahns with ITD.

The preliminary work started last week and will be in full swing by summer.

Things should be done around the same time as the lane-widening project on I-84 from Twin Falls to Jerome in late 2025.

"It'll be a lot of construction feel like in a short amount of time but when it's done, you'll have a freeway with concrete lanes to drive on," Jahns said.

While a year and a half of construction on his doorstep will likely impact business, Paulos says it's the long run, it'll all be worth it.

"Overall, we need to replace the infrastructure that is in the interchange in front of us,” Paulos said. “It's falling apart very rapidly and if they don't we're gonna have a serious problem."

And from a business perspective, growth on the south side of Jerome has been booming for the last several years,

"We’re looking forward to having all the construction workers that are going to be on the project and buying gas and buying sandwiches,” Paulos said. “And hopefully buy a car or two along the way."