Idaho Transportation Department hosted a public forum Wednesday to discuss I-84 expansions plans. The department is proposing improvements along the interstate between Karcher and Franklin Blvd in Nampa. The changes are expected to increase safety, address congestion and bring economic benefits.
About 50 people packed the Hampton INN conference room in Nampa wanting to know more about the I-84 plans. Nampa resident Craig Allison came the public forum with many questions and concerns.
"We have the same kind of growth that Boise had back in 2001," Allison said. "They put four lanes in we have the same traffic counts as they have and the same distances but we are only getting three lanes.” Allison said the proposed changes won't last long.
"But currently with our growth rate we will be back at the same point," he added.
ITD spokesman Jake Melder said the plans have a lot of moving parts. "At this time we have to balance the needs of right now, future growth and the funds available to us," Melder said.
The plans include replacing ramps on the West side of Franklin Blvd interchange, rebuilding overpasses. "Adding a third lane in both directions and a auxiliary lanes that can be interchanged as a 4th lane in some areas," Melder added.
Idaho State Police are onboard. "Just the shear congestion and the bottleneck, if we make a traffic stop traffic seems to stop as people try to move on over," Said Matt Smith, Lieutenant with the Idaho State Police.
Lt. Smith further explained the changes will help them do a better job and keep them safer.
Idaho State Police plans on taking this feedback and using it to improve their plans and then in the spring they will hosted another public forum.