The Idaho Transportation Board voted Feb. 21 to provide additional funding to begin construction on the Northgate Interchange project in east Idaho, after a "value engineering study" showed it needed more extensive work to meet anticipated demand.
The board authorized the Idaho Transportation Department to enter into an agreement that funds $4.6 million more in construction costs, bringing the total project cost to $12.5 million. The interchange was originally estimated to cost $8.4 million dollars, but the ITD said that after the value engineering review planners changed the design to include longer ramps, a wider bridge deck and traffic signals.
"Funding was made available by delaying a locally sponsored project of $2.6 million and another $2 million ITD project in the area," it said.
Once complete, the project will provide new connections on both sides of Interstate 15 for residents in Pocatello and Chubbuck.
The interchange is being funded through a public/private partnership between the ITD, the cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello, Bannock County, Bannock Transportation Planning Organization, the Pocatello Development Authority and Millennial Development.
While the ITD will build the interchange, it said that local agencies and private developers will build several miles of connecting roads and acquire right-of-way. The total cost for the project is $31 million, and the ITD's share is around $8 million. Work is expected to begin on the local roads this spring and on the interchange this summer, the ITD said.
"This project is a great funding model for public/private partnerships moving forward," said Transportation Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead. "It serves as an example of what can be done when state, local and private stakeholders work together to leverage each other's funds."
He added that the project "will reduce congestion, improve mobility and create greater opportunity for economic development in Bannock County."
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