Interstate 84 will be widened to three lanes in both directions through the Nampa area -- thanks in part to $90 million in federal funding announced Wednesday by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Congressmen Mike Simpson and Raúl Labrador.
The delegation had pressed for federal funding to widen I-84 through Canyon County under the federal Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (or INFRA) grant program.
Crapo spoke with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to confirm the grant award Tuesday. State and local funding will bring the commitment for the expansion to $150 million.
“Having driven this stretch of highway many times, I agree that growth and safety concerns make widening Interstate 84 through southwest Idaho -- a critical concern—something many Idahoans experience every single day,” Crapo said. “This project goes a long way toward increasing our regional and global competitive advantages. We hope it will be completed in two to three years.”
“My colleagues and I asked Secretary Chao to support this project, knowing how needed it is in Idaho,” Risch stated. “I-84 is long overdue for improvements, and the national freight network’s growing dependence on that route for transportation has only added to the urgency of this work”.
Expansion of the corridor is expected to reduce congestion in and around the Ada-Canyon County area, alleviating the long rush hour commute for many residents of the area.
“This is great news for not only the Treasure Valley, but for all of Idaho,” Simpson added. “I’ve often said we are the beneficiaries of our forefathers who invested in our nation’s infrastructure -- and we need to continue to do so in order for our country to prosper. I’m pleased these federal funds will be spent here in Idaho helping our economy.”
“Improving I-84 is critical to Idaho’s economic future, especially when it comes to enhancing our competitiveness. I want to thank Secretary Chao for approving the grant application made by ITD and COMPASS. I also want to thank her for being responsive to the letter I and the rest of the delegation sent her in March advocating for the grant. This is a big win for Idaho we can all support,” said Labrador.
The funding will now be utilized to widen I-84 to three lanes in both directions between Franklin Road and the Karcher Road underpass. The interchanges will also be improved, officials said.
Statistics show that, on an average weekday, more than 80,000 cars and trucks travel in both directions along that area of freeway. I-84 is a major freight carrier, moving $80 billion worth of goods through Canyon and Ada Counties annually.
Without the changes, planners say the 25-minute trip between Caldwell and Boise could almost triple in the next twenty years.