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State to widen heavily used road between Meridian, Caldwell

Plans are in the works for a $350 million project to widen one of the Treasure Valley’s most heavily traveled roads between Meridian and Caldwell.

The Statesman reports the Idaho Transportation Department proposes to make U.S. 20/26 a six-lane divided highway between Eagle Road west and Interstate 84 over the next quarter century.

To relieve worsening congestion and maintain safe driving conditions, ITD envisions widening the highway to a four-lane divided highway between 2021 and 2032 and to six lanes by 2040. Most of the 15-mile stretch is two- and three-lane rural highway.

The timing is an estimate. After the entire stretch is widened to four lanes, the department plans to make it six “when traffic volumes warrant it and when funding is available,” said spokesman Adam Rush.

Funding is already in place to start construction in 2021 to widen one mile between Eagle and Locust Grove roads to four lanes.

The department said the project might be expedited if more federal money becomes available under President Donald Trump’s call for increased infrastructure spending.

The plans include a new type of intersection aimed at improving traffic flow by reducing the amount of time vehicles spend on left turns and yellow signals.

They also include bike lanes and sidewalks in some areas. Most of the stretch lacks them now.

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