As part of an ongoing project intended to improve safety and traffic flow on U.S. Highway 95 through North Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department expects to start work this summer on reconstructing and widening a six-mile stretch of the highway.
Work will involve the section of U.S. 95 between East Ohio Match Road, in Garwood, and Bunco Road, near Athol, says Coeur d'Alene-based spokeswoman Barbara Babic.
The apparent low bidder on the project is Kent, Wash.-based Scarsella Bros. Inc., at a bid of about $36 million.
That phase of work is part of a broader effort to reconstruct and widen 30 miles of U.S. 95 from a two-lane road to a four-lane divided highway between Hayden and just south of Sandpoint. The project is federally funded and originally was estimated to cost a total of about $342 million, although since then, the bids for the separate phases have come in significantly lower than earlier estimates.
At this point, about five miles of the highway-widening project is complete between Wyoming Avenue, in Hayden, and a road named Ohio Match, Babic says.
In addition to the widening of the road, the overall project also is to include the construction of three new interchanges and several new frontage roads, the latter to provide access to businesses and residences along U.S. 95, Babic says. Two of the new interchangesat Chilco and Bunco roadsare included in this phase of work, she adds.
The intent of the new interchanges is to eliminate traffic directly entering and exiting the highway, she says.
ITD recently awarded a $2.5 million contract to Scarsella Bros. to construct one of those new frontage roads, between Boekel and Ohio Match roads.
Throughout the course of construction, Babic says, there will be minor traffic delays. She says that for the past phases of the project, the contractors constructed the new lanes of highway first, allowing for traffic to continue using the older section of roadway.
Upon completion of the new lanes of travel, traffic was moved to that side of the road until work was complete, she says.
Funding for the next phase of the projectabout five miles of the highway between Athol and Granite Hillalready has been secured, but ITD still is in the process of obtaining rights-of-way needed to begin construction there, Babic says.
Once that is complete, ITD will advertise for bids for that phase of the project, she adds.
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