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Madison County frontage road on its way

Madison County Commissioners are moving forward on plans of constructing a new frontage road, and the first phase of the project is set to begin this spring.

Since last year’s completion of the Thornton Interchange, the city has been discussing the idea of putting a frontage road on the west side of U.S. Route 20 that would run parallel with the highway from interchange south of 4300 west of Bear World.

Originally, the city of Rexburg was trying to work with Bear World owners and come up with a compromise and a solution to direct traffic into that area, but the city couldn’t reach an agreement between Bear World owners, and the Idaho Transportation Department.

The Madison County Commissioners have been in continuous talks with engineers, property owners and other stakeholders about the possibility of constructing a frontage road.

Madison County Commissioner Jon O. Weber said they are still working with property owners to secure the right of way.

“There are several property owners, but we are in talks,” Weber said.

A frontage road, also called a service road, is a local street that parallels an expressway or through street and that provides access to property such as homes and businesses. The frontage road in discussion would come south on U.S. Route 20 about a half-mile and end at the Thornton Interchange said Weber.

Weber also said it would give access to businesses and residents.

“This is a two-way ramp, not a slip ramp. A slip ramp is one way it’s just an exit. A frontage road would be from the interchange and run parallel with Highway 20, it’s two ways. The benefit is it’s a direct line of sight. It will direct traffic safely,” Weber said.

Weber also said surrounding businesses will benefit from the frontage road.

“We feel that it will safely move traffic and enhance development to the south end of the county,” Weber said.

“When for some reason Highway 20 is closed down, commuters can use this frontage road,” Weber said.

During Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Weber discussed alongside Commissioner Todd Smith steps on securing who will survey the property, construction of the road and timeline of the project.

They anticipate the first phase to be complete by fall of this year.

“The project is estimated to cost $2 million and will be funded through state sources such as the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council,” Weber said.

The second phase of the project is set to begin after phase one is complete.

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