Twin Falls’ Most Annoying Road Construction Projects–Our Top 5
There are screaming kids in the back seat. Starbucks? Already splashed onto your shirt. You’ve just been cut off, only to have said rude drive decide to traverse at a painfully slow crawl once in front of you. Of course, you’re running five minutes late. The universe is throwing logs onto your day and if one more negative ion bumps into your brain the road rage is Going... To... Blow. As if we don’t have enough to juggle, the roads around Twin Falls resemble a very large corn maze. Detours from one road construction project can lead you into parts of town you’ve never knew existed. Here’s a breakdown of the top five most annoying road construction projects in Twin Falls.
This project tops our list because drivers have had to deal with the carnage for two summers. Beginning last year, the federally funded $6.5 million project will result in a widened and rebuilt Washington from Addison Avenue North to Pole Line Road. The roadway will be smooth cruising once complete but is a veritable hell for travelers. The worst part isn’t the detoured, one lane of traffic available to drivers used to two-lanes of space or having to constantly navigate the changing maze of orange barrels but the buckles and bumps in the roadway itself. “That bumpy part at the intersection of Falls of Washington, I feel sorry for my car every time I have to drive over it. It’s a little bit better now, but sheesh, it still seems like it could damage a car’s underside,” said Twin Falls resident Matt Vann. Construction picked up earlier this spring when the weather warmed up but bad weather and multiple project redesigns was blamed for delays- pushing completion originally estimated for the end of July to mid-October.
The road reconstruction project at the junction of HWY 93 and Interstate 84, north of Twin Falls, is half-complete and work is now being done the highway’s southbound lanes. The news is of little comfort to Natalie Thomas, of Hailey, who drives the stretch of road four-times a week to attend classes at the College of Southern Idaho. “The delay isn’t terrible but the construction does slow down traffic. When you’ve been in classes all day and still have a two-hour drive home, all you want to do is get on the road and drive. I don’t want to be waiting in traffic,” Thomas said. Work on two-mile stretch of highway is expected to continue through October and traffic will continue being constricted to one lane of travel in each direction. The cost for this annoying project? $5.2 million.
Washington isn’t the only main thoroughfare being torn up in Twin Falls. Nope, the city is an equal-opportunity road-reconstructionist. Workers just recently began the latest construction zone, the area between Julie Lane and Cheney Drive, which is a $450,000 project. The work will bring together widened portions of the roadway and includes new asphalt driving surface, curb and gutter, stormwater drainage, median turn bays and sidewalk. Twin Falls resident Dave Bend lamented that although Eastland isn’t closed to light-vehicle traffic the city is detouring heavy truck traffic to Blue Lakes Boulevard (or other routes) when traveling south. “They have all these roads tore up and now Blue Lakes, which is one of the only main roads not being worked on, is truck route for the semis and big-rigs. It’s hell to drive, too,” Bend said. Roadwork on sections of Eastland Drive has been ongoing for years. Recently, the project has been marred by poor management and communication with property owners along the construction route; it’s nice to know that not just travelers of Eastland Drive are peeved with the progress.
Wait, isn’t HWY 93 already on this list? Yes, which is why this project is included as well. With one major detour and delay causing construction project just mere miles from the HYW 93 and Golf Course Road intersection why would the Idaho Department of Transportation decide to engage in another irritating project? Well, with drivers already slowing down and with many people out of work…..but I’m not going to divulge why the constructing a dedicated right-turn lane and light signal at the intersection is a good idea (and it is: the intersection has been near the top of the ITD High Accident Location List for the number and potential for high-speed accidents for quite some time) but on why the project is annoying. Here goes. Travelers trying to get around the project further north (see #2) thought they could swing onto Golf Course Road for a quick detour. The intersection is still open but you can forget about quick. Now that crews are preparing the road for the late and improving the acceleration lane traffic at the intersection is often backed up. “Drivers just need to remember to be patient,” said ITD Spokesman Nathan Jerke.
Okay, this project isn’t too bad but with road construction projects all over town just seeing more orange cones is likely to raise eyebrows and get a few rolled eyes. You can feel better knowing that this project won’t likely cause major delays to your travel. Only one lane of traffic is closed for a few blocks. The right-most eastbound land between Hankins Road and 3300 East Road will be closed until mid-October. This construction isn’t about the road but is the result of a water line improvement project organized by the Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency.