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'That's gonna kill us': Business owners frustrated about potential impacts of 2025 State St. widening project

Posted at 6:26 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-16 13:50:21-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Ada County Highway District (ACHD) plans to start construction on its State Street and Pierce Park Lane widening project in 2025. Some business owners are worried it will negatively impact their businesses.

[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include comments from ACHD in response to business owners' concerns]

  • Both Garden City and West Boise will see impacts from the project in 2025.
  • The project will widen State Street from 4 lanes to 6 while adding a median, a buffer strip, and a multi-use pathway.
  • The owner of Pond Pro expressed concerns about access to his business and the need to move his business's signage and landscape display for the project. The land in question is already owned by ACHD.
  • Customers will still have access to businesses during the construction.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

It's one of the busiest east-west roads through Garden City and Boise and there are plans to expand State Street. But, what might seem like a win for drivers, could tally as a loss for local businesses.

"You're not just taking part of my landscape; you're taking part of my personality. You know, this is a piece of me, and I wanted to be able to show that up front," said Victor Roberts, owner of Pond Pro.

Victor Roberts owns Pond Pro. He's been at this State Street location since 2017 selling pretty much anything you'd need for a backyard water feature.

He showed me just how much of his property he'll lose when the upcoming State Street and Pierce Park Lane widening project turns these four lanes into six.

"They had stakes running right through here, right through the middle of here, right through the middle of these guys back yard," said Roberts.

ACHD reached out to Idaho News 6 to clarify that the land where the signage currently sits is already owned by ACHD.

"You know we've got that sign and that's going to be a big, huge loss for us which is a big reason we had the property in the beginning," said Roberts.

ACHD tells Idaho News 6, the agency "has been patient with the property owner and allowed the sign to stay while there was no project happening. However, we did communicate with the property owner several years ago that the sign would need to be moved once the project began."

The project includes a new median, a buffer strip, and a mixed-use pathway along with the lane expansion. Roberts also has to move this classic truck he turned into a water fountain but it isn't just the land that's being lost.

Across the street in West Boise at Stag Hair Care, they are worried they will lose a vital part of their business, customers.

"It's just difficult for me to imagine staying afloat and being expected to pay for rent when I'm not going to be getting the same kind of flow of people," said Maria Santa Cruz-Cernik, Owner of Stag Hair Care.

Maria Santa Cruz-Cernik is concerned construction could make it harder for people to make their way to the salon.

"This is where my livelihood is," said Santa Cruz-Cernik. "What are they going to do to compensate for the lack of the business we are receiving?"

Back at Pond Pro, Roberts just hopes their customers will make the extra effort to support them through construction.

"They are talking about shutting us down for a year, at least having access to the property and that's gonna kill us," said Roberts.

ACHD tells us access will be maintained to all businesses- including Pond Pro and Stag Hair Care during the construction. Additionally, ACHD plans to keep two lanes of travel open in each direction throughout construction, which is State Street’s current configuration in that area.