Time is running out for the public to weigh in on the future of a major thoroughfare in the Treasure Valley.
The Idaho Transportation Department's study on U.S. Highway 20/26 Corridor is nearly complete.
Even on a Sunday, traffic along Chinden Boulevard from Eagle Road to where the roadway intersects with Interstate-84 in Caldwell is steady.
"There is a lot of traffic in the morning, afternoon," say Hunter Vroman, a Nampa resident. "And, as you can see right now, it's kind of busy mid-day."
Vroman lives near the major roadway that many motorists use to bypass the freeway. He isn't opposed to the long-term plan of possibly widening Chinden Boulevard by three lanes in each direction with a center median.
"Just make the roads a little wider, especially for turning lanes because there are a few roads that need turning lanes," he comments.
Widening the roadway will take a concerted effort to acquire the land necessary to do so. As part of the study, ITD officials are in the process of identifying just how much land they would need.
"We always work closely with property owners and business owners to explain what's needed," says Adam Rush, ITD public involvement coordinator.
Two public, open house style meetings will be held this week. You can learn more about the corridor study and environmental impact assessment and provide feedback. The deadline to submit input is March 31.
Once the input is tallied and considered, the study and assessment will be updated and deemed complete. It will then be used as a guide for improvements done in phases between now and the year 2040.
"The improvements and changes will be made over time to manage the traffic impacts," Rush says.
The first open house will be held on Tuesday, March 7 at The Ambrose School in Meridian.
On Thursday, March 9, Caldwell residents are invited to attend a public meeting at Thomas Jefferson Charter School. Both sessions run from 4-7 p.m.
If you can't make it out, you can send an e-mail with your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.