Chinden Boulevard is getting a big expansion that will widen Chinden between Eagle Road and I-84 in Caldwell. It's going to be completed in phases, with the first phase starting late this year, and continuing over the next several years.
"The expansion and the improvements that are going to be needed on the corridor, by 2040, are three lanes in each direction, and high capacity intersections," said Jake Melder with the Idaho Transportation Department.
Those are the improvements needed to facilitate growth by 2040, but the Idaho Transportation Department currently only has funding for projects through 2024, which will fund the first phase of ITD's expansion.
Phase one is going to be expanding to four lanes. That's two lanes in each direction. Then phase two will expand Chinden to three lanes, and phase three will add those high capacity intersections. Phase two and three are the portions ITD doesn't yet have funding for.
And since Chinden Boulevard is already the subject of heavy traffic during peak hours, ITD is trying their hardest to ensure you'll still be able to get down the roadway in a similar amount of time during construction.
"During the heaviest commute times we are going to keep open the current capacity, so that's a lane in each direction," said Melder.
In ITD’s original plan, funding for the project only allowed them to make the Chinden expansion one mile at a time, but due to additional businesses coming to the area, like the Costco coming to Meridian, the expansion will be done five miles at a time.
The first round of construction will begin later this year, expanding Chinden to four lanes between Highway 16 and Linder, and between Locust Grove and Eagle.
Then, construction between Linder and Meridian Road will begin in 2020, Meridian Road to Locust Grove will begin in 2021, and Star Road to Highway 16 will begin in 2024.
ITD also recently got some additional funding for a Chinden Expansion in Canyon County from Smeed Parkway to Middleton Road. That funding will help expand that area to six lanes, three in each direction, and that construction will begin in late 2021 to early 2022.