JEROME, Idaho (KLIX)-A major overpass and interchange project for Jerome has been pushed back a couple of years.

According to Project Manager Nathan Jerke with the Idaho Transportation Department, the Jerome Interchange Project has been pushed back to late 2022 or 2023. The project would completely redesign the on and off-ramps, bridges and connections to frontage roads just south of Jerome. Jerke said ITD pushed the start date back as a precaution over uncertainty of how long the review and redesign periods would take. Plus, it would allow more time to purchase new interstate right-of-way needed for the project.

The design is called a divided diamond interchange and will replace aging bridges built in the mid-1960s. Jerke said the current bridges have needed a lot of maintenance and repair which is difficult because of its design, partly because it has a relatively long span compared to other overpasses. The new proposed design will shorten and separate the bridges.

Jerke says the design will be unique to Idaho and most of the country. He says it is specifically made to accommodate a lot of truck traffic, which Jerome sees with its various food processing plants. The project is budgeted at $21 million dollars, mostly federally funded with about 7% coming from the state, however, Jerke says the cost could go up with inflation.

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