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Star Road closure making city hard to access

Locals react to the traffic
Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 03, 2024

STAR, IDAHO — Star Road has been closed until mid-July due to construction on developments between Chinden and Joplin, allowing only residents to get in and out of the main roadway to downtown Star.

  • Star Road is planned to be closed for updates including:
  • Widening Star Road.
  • Widening intersection of Star Road and Joplin.
  • Relocating existing utilities in Star Road, such as phone and other dry utilities.
  • Extending the Culvert Crossing Pipe of the Eureka Drain.
  • Installation of guard rail.
  • Widening the intersection of Star Road and Inspirado Drive, including concrete sidewalks and new asphalt.
  • Adding turn lanes to the intersection of Star Road and Inspirado Drive.
  • Removal of asphalt in Star Road in this area.  Excavating out road section, installation of the new road section, and new asphalt.
  • Installation of infrastructure in Star Road for future traffic signals.
  • Adding Concrete Sidewalk from Inspirado Drive intersection roughly 500 feet towards Chinden.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Road construction on Highway 16 can make the drive to Star as slow as watching paint dry. However, a project only a stone's throw away has shut down a main passage downtown completely. I'm your Star neighborhood reporter Alexander Huddleston and I spoke with a few locals about how they navigate their way through town.

Local, Apryl Nuebel said, "I know it is a needed thing to have these roads redone. I wish they communicated and not closed them all at once."

With construction on Highway 16 already slowing commutes coming into Star, people typically turn to Star Road, which drives traffic into the heart of town. However, with new developments in the works, the route right now is closed.

"There are a lot of people moving here from different places, it's nice to increase the amount of housing instead of increasing the cost of housing, however, it's creating difficulties for people already commuting in the area," explained Jamie Sessions.

I reached out to Granite Excavation Inc., which is behind the closure and the new development. They told me when the road reopens, drivers will see upgrades like a wider road, guard rails, turning lanes, and infrastructure to allow traffic signals in the future.

Sessions continued, "Transportation just trying to get between here and Nampa has just been really difficult, it took what used to be a 20-25 minute drive, to a 45-minute, hour drive."

This worries some businesses that have already seen a drop in foot traffic.

"I think people have learned to avoid coming through here, and I think it is affecting the businesses that need support right now," said Nuebel.

I drove over to Star Road and talked with Jennifer Trusnovec a homeowner right near the construction, who unlike everyone else is enjoying the closure.

"Well it’s been very peaceful in this area," exclaimed Trusnovec.

An area that typically sees heavy traffic making it difficult for Trusnovec to pull in and out of her home.

Trusnovec finished by saying, "For the first couple of days it was kind of like World War Two went off with traffic outside of this area. but through it, it was very peaceful, like the Twilight Zone."

Star Road is closed to everyone except those who live along the route and Star Police tell me they are patroling the area and drivers who ignore the construction signs and pass through will face consequences.

The project is said to last until mid-July making State Street the only way to get downtown for the next month and a half.