The ability to get from point A to point B in Meridian is essential. Whether you are going to and from work, trying to get across town to coach your kid’s game, or headed to unwind with friends, moving about the community is a priority for our citizens. As a City, we don’t have the pleasure of taking care of our roads. Between Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), they make the ultimate decisions about what roads will be improved, to what level, and when. This can be frustrating for a growing city and valley with competing needs for safety, capacity, and connectivity.
I know congestion can cost you time with your family, money for your business, or potentially even both. We need to utilize our resources to advance priority transportation projects through partnerships with ACHD, ITD and the development community. One major project that will help us achieve our goals of creating a safe and connected system is having an overpass at Linder Road crossing I-84 that will result in improved safety and reduced congestion. How do we know this? Well, it happened before when the Locust Grove overpass came into service over a decade ago and it is time to do it again.
In November of 2020, Meridian City Council, Ada County Commissioners and ACHD Commissioners signed a joint letter of support encouraging the ITD Board to add the Linder Road overpass project into the current State Transportation Infrastructure Plan (STIP) for the development, funding, and construction of this regionally important bridge. Following up on our request and after several years of discussion internally and with our transportation partners, the Meridian City Council approved an allocation of $2.5 million dedicated to the needs of building this critical overpass during a recent City Council Meeting. I want to thank City Council for their support of this project. With their action, I believe that ITD and COMPASS will advance this project onto the Idaho STIP and COMPASS Regional Transportation Infrastructure Plan lists for future action.
Through the allocation of $2.5 million, our intent is to ensure everyone involved that we are clear about our willingness to partner on the funding and planning efforts to move the Linder overpass project forward. This is a significant financial investment considering the City does not receive any transportation funding. Through this allocation, the City is committed to a partnership with ITD and ACHD on this project.
As you drive on Meridian and Ten Mile roads near the interstate, I am sure you are seeing the increased level of traffic over the last few months. The Linder Road overpass would reduce congestion by removing an existing barrier to the efficient movement of people, goods, and services. It would eliminate the excessive out of direction travel on signal delays for local trips and improve emergency response reliability and service levels. Furthermore, as development occurs on Franklin Road between Linder and Ten Mile Road adjacent to the West Ada School District bus facility and Republic Services transfer station, we will see the need for increased circulation in this area. This bridge would also fill the last gap in the Linder Road corridor and would be the longest unbroken north-south arterial in Ada County. Unquestionably, a huge boost for travel interconnectivity between multiple cities and within Ada County overall.
Meridian serves as the central connection point for key roadways in Ada County and the Treasure Valley. As the transportation needs in the City of Meridian evolve, it is imperative upon us to be vested in bringing more road improvements to our community with the resources we have available as a community. Helping fund the Linder Road overpass is a step in the right direction. As your Mayor, I remain committed to prioritizing transportation solutions in the community so, in the end, we can all enjoy spending more time at home, watching the kids play their games, or out with friends and less time sitting in traffic.