FREMONT COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The future of road travel between Ashton into West Yellowstone is now being brought forward to the public for their opinion.
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is holding two public meetings. The first is on Wednesday, May 25 at 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the Island Park EMS Building which is located at 4378 County Circle Island Park, ID 83429, and the second one will be in Ashton on Thursday, May 26 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in Ashton Community Center and Library which is located at 925 Main Street Ashton, ID 83420.
On these meeting ITD spokesperson Justin Smith says, "we've had 60 different options that we've been looking at for different portions of the road all the way through the project area. And we want people to understand why one idea is progressing. Another one may not be viable. So we really do hope to see a lot of people come out well."
The purpose of the meetings is to discuss the findings from ITD's, Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study which was conducted to see how the route could be modernized, made safer and reduce traffic congestion. Smith says, they are now coming out to let the public know what the findings of the PEL study.
"The PEL leads into what's called NEPA, which is another process to look at environmental. But right now we're just screening through all kinds of different options, different concerns, and we've just gone through a screening process," Smith said.
At the two meetings, the public is invited to provide feedback to ITD on the adjusted proposals ITD has prepared as well as other concerns the may have on the subject.
Smith says the meetings tonight will also help ITD prepare for the eventual construction.
"Since construction won't happen for five to ten years, we need to be ready for that when it comes along," Smith said.
All are welcome to attend the meeting, and both meetings will cover the same information if you wish to attend and can't make one of them.
For those who can’t attend in person, an online meeting will be available from May 26 through June 9 HERE.
The comment period will remain open until June 9, 2022.