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Work on Long Bridge delayed until mid-March

by CAROLINE LOBSINGER
Staff Writer | February 25, 2024 1:00 AM

Work to improve the Long Bridge's driving surface has been delayed until next month.

The work was set to start Sunday, Feb. 25, but will now begin in mid-March, Heather McDaniel, ITD public information officer, said.

"March 11 was the date that I’ve been given, but it is very weather dependent so that’s subject to change based on the forecast," she told the Daily Bee.

McDaniel said ITD crews will place portable digital messaging boards in the area roughly one week in advance of the start of the project to let drivers know that the work is imminent.

"[The] best suggestion would be for motorists to pay attention to those signs and utilize Idaho’s 511 system to stay updated day by day," McDaniel said.

Idaho Transportation Department officials said the work on the bridge, which will reinforce and protect its driving surface, will take place at night.

Crews will first grind down the existing roadway, and then return this summer to resurface the bridge to provide better traction and protect it from regular wear and tear from traffic and the weather, McDaniel said.

The initial phase of the project is expected to take up to two weeks. All work will be completed overnight from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. to avoid slowing down traffic during the day, the public information officer said.

The work set for later this summer will take approximately one month to complete, ITD officials said. The project will be handled in a similar manner, with work slated for nighttime hours with traffic reduced to a single lane.

ITD officials said the work is part of the department's necessary upkeep of the bridge surface.

In other construction news, ITD officials said a project to enhance mobility on the Interstate 90 corridor that was expected to begin this year has been pushed back to 2025.

The department is working on modernizing the I-90 from State Highway 41 to U.S. Highway 95. The 5-mile stretch experiences the highest traffic volumes and congestion of the I-90 corridor. The improvements will widen the interstate with two additional lanes in each direction, replace and widen bridges, realign adjacent pedestrian and bicycle paths and lengthen existing interchange ramps, ITD said in a Wednesday news release.

ITD initially aimed to start construction this summer. However, as it works through the necessary environmental documentation, certain aspects of the analysis will require additional time for thorough consideration, an ITD official said.

"Design, supplies nor funding have anything to do with the I-90 widening projects being delayed to 2025," ITD officials told The Hagadone News Network, "but rather that additional consideration of environmental resources in the I-90 corridor is needed to finalize the document — a critical step for completion before construction can begin."

While it remains committed to addressing congestion and modernizing the I-90 corridor, the department must prioritize a comprehensive environmental analysis before construction can begin, ITD said.

Presently, ITD expects the construction of the initial phase of the widening project, from Atlas Road to Highway 95, to start in spring 2025 with the section from Highway 41 to Atlas Road following in fall 2025.

Call 208-738-4190 or email info@i90corridor.com for details.

ITD is also reconstructing the Highway 41 interchange in Post Falls and improving the highway and roads surrounding the interchange.

For more information, go online to itdprojects.idaho.gov.


Hagadone News Network staff contributed to this story.