State of 208: How does ACHD prioritize road projects?

You can't drive around Ada County without running into some kind of construction. Whether it be widening a street or turning a four-way stop into a new four-lane intersection, navigating through it can be frustrating. But what's even more frustrating is waiting for your neighborhood project to get to the top of the list for consideration by the county.

So in this week's "State of 208," Six On Your Side wanted to know, how does the Ada County Highway District decide which project is more important than the next one? Ryan Head, the county's planning supervisor said this: "Our primary emphasis focus is on where there are known safety concerns and known conjestion." His five-year plan works with cities to prioritize where the greatest need is. 

There are three basic steps to this process. The first step is the design stage -- drawing up blueprints. The second is the purchase phase, which has to do with buying land. And the third, and probably the most frustrating, is the construction phase. Head put it this way: "Roads are graded A,B,C,D,E, AND F, just like a report in school."

For instance, in South Ada County, there are plans to hook up Lake Hazel Road to Orchard Street, which would take thousands of drivers off of Cole road. Head added, "It's a five year plan, but we update it every year."

But don't think you don't have a say. Besides crunching all the numbers, Ada County Highway District wants to hear from you, and officials consider your comments as part of the equation.

Staying ahead of the game and not playing catch up is something that seems to be more challenging as years go by.

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