by Mayor Simison

As the center of the Treasure Valley, Meridian is the connection point for key roadways to and thru our community. Residents, business owners, visitors and more all drive through Meridian on a regular basis, seeking ease and safe accessibility to their destinations. As a City, we are vested in bringing more road improvements by working with our partners and with the resources we have available. As your Mayor, I remain committed to improving transportation in Meridian and the Treasure Valley.

As a City, we rely upon the  Ada County Highway District (ACHD) and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to make the ultimate decisions about what roads will be improved, to what level, and when. We provide feedback to ACHD each year on the local road projects as part of their five year work plan. We have the opportunity to do the same on a state level with ITD through the Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP). The ITIP lists proposed projects for the next seven years (FY23-29) and includes programmed improvements to highways, bicycle routes, pedestrian projects, safety projects, bridges and public transportation.

Last month, I attended the ITD Board meeting and continued Meridian’s advocating for a new bridge over I-84 at Linder Road, asking that it be included in the ITIP. A Linder Road overpass will connect our community, improve safety and reduce congestion on some of our busiest roadways, putting money back into the pockets of our businesses and residents. Specifically, it will connect the north and south sides of our community making it easier for parents who live in south Meridian to access Peregrine Elementary School on the north and bring the school and other homes into the 5-minute emergency response time.  It will bring needed improvements to Linder including sidewalks and capacity improvements making turning easier and safer. And, it will also give time and gas back to all residents and businesses who wish to avoid the interchanges of Meridian Road and Ten Mile Road, which are experiencing increased traffic congestion.

I appreciate ITD’s dedication to Meridian’s roadways and see some great projects listed for our District. Unfortunately, ITD did not include this needed transportation improvement in the ITIP. And while there are limited funding sources and many other transportation needs around the State, this project is important for our region to have an efficient and integrated roadway network to transport goods and services. With the design of this project underway, which has been funded by the City, we need to press forward to fund the construction of this important road connection.

What we need now is help from the community. Now is the time to provide public comment on ITD’s priority projects, to let them know about the importance of the Linder Road overpass and ask that it be added to the project list within the ITIP. Public Comment is open until July 31st and you can send your support for this project via email to ITDCommunication@itd.idaho.gov or via mail. Further details on how to provide public comment can be found here.

We all want a safe and connected community, and residents have long identified transportation as the top priority in every one of our citizen surveys. That is why I remain committed to improving transportation in Meridian and the Treasure Valley and I look to you, Meridian residents, to have our voice be heard in the construction of the Linder Road Overpass.