We continue to work with our local and state transportation agencies to create a viable network of roadways in our community in order to allow more time at home for families, not on the roads. Locust Grove overpass, the extension of Pine Avenue, and numerous intersection improvements from 4 way stops to traffic signals are all great examples of public and private partnerships to move our citizens from point a to point b in the most effective manner. While the City does not have control over the roadways in Meridian, we do play an active role working with the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) as they are the roads and maintenance providers.
These partners are making improvements along I-84 and throughout the community which are crucial to moving people and goods.
The first crucial project is the Split Corridor Phase II which began in the fall of 2012. Meridian Road will be closed until October 2013 as the City has a water main line we are constructing as part of the widening project. ACHD and our Public Works have a communications plan so that residents can stay updated. They have also been working closely with the businesses. Downtown businesses need support from the community during this construction project as it will have a huge impact to them. Their inconvenience and survival is for your long term convenience.
The other crucial project is the Meridian Road Interchange. The bridge condition gets worst every year, and every year we risk losing a pedestrian, child, or bicyclist's life. We are also not realizing the full benefit of the I-84 improvement because of this bottleneck; economic growth is impacted by the inability to accommodate more traffic. The good news is the project is now funded and construction is expected to start in the early months of 2014. The design will be a Single Point Urban Interchange -- the same design as the Ten Mile Interchange -- and work is moving forward on the aesthetic design and safety features. There will be public meetings in 2013 and you can find more information and provide comments regarding this project on Facebook.
In addition to roadways, we are finding ways to move citizens through the community on safe and connected pathway systems. The Parks and Recreation Commission have prioritized pathway segments for completion. Their work is dividing future pathway improvement into two categories: driven by development, or City-driven. We will be working with the YMCA to identify needed improvements to keep safe routes to school a priority. You can view Meridian s Pathways Master Plan by clicking here.
We also continue to keep our focus on a Rail with Trail program -- a pedestrian and bicycle pathway along the rail corridor within our area of impact. This is seven and a half miles of corridor that would connect key employment areas from Eagle Road in the east, to downtown/old town, then west to the Ten Mile and McDermott area. By connecting these three critical economic areas of our community with a continuous pathway system, we will be able to create synergistic uses along the rail lines showing how moving people and moving goods are compatible, in addition to, the economic benefits of both.