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Simpson announces projects for Idaho included in surface transportation legislation

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - Congressman Mike Simpson announced projects for Idaho in new transportation legislation.

Simpson says he has secured funding for five Idaho projects in the INVEST in America Act.

It would re-authorize surface transportation, transit, rail and safety programs for the next five years.

These projects would be in Ammon, Pocatello, Fort Hall, McCammon and Boise totaling nearly $17 million.

They are as follows:

  • Ammon: The funding is designated to reconstruct First Street from Hitt Road (25th) to Ammon (35th). The street will be widened to five lanes, with two lanes in each direction and a center two-way turn lane. The project will add a curb, gutter, and sidewalk along the entire section. It will also widen the current Sand Creek bridge to five lanes and include sidewalks and add a traffic signal at the Curlew intersection.
  • Pocatello: The funding is designated to repair the abutments, replace the fascia and portals to the sidewalks, and replacing the retaining walls and sidewalks leading to the pedestrian tunnels.  The existing roadway and pedestrian lighting will be upgraded.  The existing stormwater system will be modified or replaced to more adequately handle storm events and a pedestrian bridge across Center Street will be constructed.
  • McCammon: The funding is designated to extend the life cycle of this highway segment. This is part of a major trucking corridor in Southeast Idaho and has a history of deep ruts and cracking. 
  • Fort Hall: The funding is designated to upgrade Ross Fork Road just off Interstate 15 on Exit 80, which is going to be reconstructed and expanded starting in FY 2024.  To coincide with the reconstruction of the Exit 80 bridge and interstate exit, Ross Fork Road will be reconstructed to keep up with the traffic flow and safety and to upgrade the ability to enter and exit tribal enterprises and developments. Currently sections of the road are failing and would not be able to maintain with the added traffic of the upgraded exit.  The project will reconstruct, widen and landscape Ross Fork Road into one multi-modal complete street boulevard.
  • Boise: The funding is designated to continue construction of premium transit corridor improvements that will enhance passenger facilities and amenities, including: 
    • Real-time bus information, which will let passengers know when the next bus is coming.
    • Off-board fare payment so passengers do not slow operations by paying the fare onboard.
    • More visible shelters, benches, bus stop signs and improved lighting so the public will know transit is available, safe and comfortable.
    • Improved pedestrian and bicycle connections to bus stops so more people, including those with disabilities can access the bus.
    • Near-level boarding so it is faster to get on and off the bus and traffic keeps moving.
    • Bus pull-outs, where necessary, to improve the traveling public’s safety.

“I’m grateful that Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Graves included these projects in this legislation,” Simpson said. “Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation, and our infrastructure is in dire need of repair and modernization.  Many of these projects are long overdue and have been on city and statewide plans for decades, and their completion will have a huge economic impact in their respective communities.”

H.R. 3684 will be marked up in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, June 9, and is expected to be considered on the House floor shortly thereafter. 

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