ITD launches online meeting about next steps for Highway 16

Posted at 10:08 AM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 07:39:43-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has launched a two-week online meeting to share plans for the next phase of extending Highway 16. The meeting will be available through June 4 on the ITD website.

There is a virtual tour and design plans for the future north-south corridor. ITD is extending the corridor 5.5 miles south to connect with I-84 and says the extension will operate as a high-speed expressway, with limited access on or off. By 2040, the highway is expected to serve 60,000 motorists each day, according to a news release from ITD.

highway 16 map.PNG

Phase one of the corridor was finished in 2014 and involved bridging the highway over the Boise River and connecting U.S. 20/26 and Idaho 44.

“This corridor has been in the making for many years and the community has given input at many important stages of this significant highway corridor,” said ITD Program Manager Amy Schroeder. “All of the design plans in this online meeting are consistent with the overall vision and allows ITD to proceed to construction next year.”

The Idaho Transportation Board on Wednesday approved funding to construct the next phase of the extension. Phase 2, the focus of the online meeting, will build the remaining five miles of highway. It includes an interchange with I-84, connections at Franklin and Ustick Roads, and bridge structures over local roads, canals and a railroad.

The estimated cost of this work is $170 million and will be funded using bonds and paid off using new sales tax funds approved by the Idaho Legislature in 2021.

“The work we have done on the Idaho 16 corridor in the last few years has prepared us to quickly leverage this new funding stream,” said Schroeder. “We have an obligation to the taxpayer to make the most of today’s low-interest rates and bring needed transportation investments to Idaho quickly.”

The online meeting will include live Q&A sessions from 12-1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on June 2. ALternate versions of the meeting are available for those without internet connection, call ITD at 208-334-8008 for more information.