A view east down U.S. Highway 12 at Kooskia.

Bridge replacements and highway repairs are part of an estimated $70 million in proposed projects for the next several years in Idaho County as part of the draft Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP).

Public comment is sought through Aug. 2 by the Idaho Transportation Department on the FY 2020-26 draft ITIP for planning and development.

The draft ITIP document (online at https://itd.idaho.gov/funding/ ) lists projects by highway route and location, identifies projected years for right-of-way acquisition, preliminary engineering, construction and estimated project costs.

Public comments will help the department determine if proposed projects meet the department’s three main objectives of improving safety, mobility and economic opportunity.

Some of the ITIP big ticket items proposed are for highway resurfacing, restoration and rehabilitation:

On U.S. 12: $9.176 million in FY2023 from the Lochsa Historical Ranger Station to the Holly Creek turnout (includes minor widening and constructing a shoulder notch on both sides of highway); $6.701 million in FY 2025, mileposts 113-122;

On U.S. 95: $5.075 million in FY 2020 for U.S. 95, from the Time Zone Bridge to milepost 210; and $8.615 million in FY 2025 for U.S. 95, from milepost 210 to White Bird.

East Kooskia Bridge

The Idaho Transportation Investment Program proposes a FY 2026 $6.6 million replacement project for the East Kooskia Bridge on State Highway 13 Business Loop.

Several bridge replacement projects are proposed in the ITIP, notable of which is the East Kooskia Bridge on State Highway 13 Business Loop. The ITIP proposes a FY 2026 $6.6 million replacement project.

Originally built in 1935, the bridge has been a cause of concern regarding structural integrity since 1994, according to federal inspections. According to Free Press coverage, in 2017, the bridge load limit was reduced to three tons due to declined superstructure conditions.

For FY2021, the 50-year-old Clear Creek Bridge at Kooskia is proposed for a $1.363 million replacement. The plan notes this as a “vital transportation asset for Idaho County,” serving as an access point to hundreds of residents, several businesses and as the primary access point to the Nez Perce Tribe’s Clear Creek Fish Hatchery.

Other proposed bridge replacements: FY2024, $918,000, Hat Creek Bridge, U.S. 95 south of Pollock; and $1.734 million, Shebang Creek Bridge, U.S. 95 south of Cottonwood.

Helping with traffic flow, the ITIP proposes two projects in Cottonwood and Grangeville.

In FY2026, a $1.725 project on U.S. 95 south of Ferdinand would construct a northbound passing lane between mileposts 261-264.

US Highway 95 and Grangeville truck route

The intersection of U.S. Highway 95 and the Grangeville truck route, the location for a proposed turnbay project in 2021.

In FY2021, a $759,000 project at U.S. 95 and the Grangeville truck route intersection would construct a southbound left-turn bay and a northbound right-turn bay just north of town.

Airport improvements at Cottonwood and Grangeville are also proposed.

All in FY2020, the Cottonwood Airport is proposed to receive a total $228,000 in rehabilitation of the taxiways, runways and hold apron.

In FY2021, the Idaho County Airport at Grangeville is proposed for a fog seal, crack fill, pavement maintenance and painting for the taxiway constructed in 2016. The year following, a $21,000 security fencing project is proposed for south, west and partial east sides of the airfield to keep wildlife off.

The Warren Wagon Road is proposed for two FY2022 projects. One is a $1.140 million reconstruction and realignment between mileposts 2.23-9.6 for traffic safety (reduce crashes, falling rock), lower maintenance costs and improve ride quality. A $1.274 million project would improve the road base and subbase, and replace obsolete guardrail between mileposts 7.6-9.6.

Public transit in District 2 (Idaho, Clearwater, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties) is proposed to benefit through two FY2024 projects: $513,000 to replace, rehabilitate and purchase buses, or to construct bus-related facilities in rural and small urban areas; and $1.162 million for capital, planning and operating assistance to support public transportation operators who provide demand response and fixed route served in rural areas.

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