TWIN FALLS — The city will relieve congestion on Eastland Drive by eliminating one of several bottlenecks where the road width varies greatly.
Twin Falls city staff will meet with contractors Wednesday to lay out a plan for a $2 million rehabilitation of Eastland Drive North this year. Work will begin immediately to prepare the road for construction, project engineer Josh Baird said.
The City Council on Tuesday approved agreements with two property owners that, combined with the right-of-way on eight other properties, grant the city the right to make Eastland Drive five lanes wide from Falls Avenue to Pole Line Road.
Drivers will see intermittent work with some impact from now until April. Major construction will restrict Eastland Drive North and Pole Line Road to two lanes from April to August, Baird said.
“We would recommend using alternative routes during the construction,” said Rob Ramsey, project consultant with Civil Science.
The construction will span more than a mile of roadway.
The city had already planned to rehabilitate Eastland Drive North and Pole Line Road along the curve. But the failing road got higher on the priority list after it was damaged from last winter’s storms and temperature swings.
With $1.2 million of emergency state road money, the city will extend the project even farther. It’ll start from Pole Line Road at Mountain View Drive, and extend down Eastland Drive North, almost to Falls Avenue East.
Kloepfer Inc. received the contract for just under $2 million earlier this month. But the final piece was to secure right-of-way with Amazing Grace Fellowship and Twin Falls Rural Fire District in order to widen the road between Julie Lane and Falls Avenue, Baird said.
“I’m impressed with how quickly this came together,” Vice Mayor Nikki Boyd said.
What it’ll do
Kloepfer will pulverize the existing asphalt and recycle it to be used as base for the new lanes of road, Baird said. The existing road base will be mixed with concrete. Using recycled materials versus doing a total rebuild saves the city about 30 percent on the project.
The contractor will then repave the roadway with new asphalt. When complete, the road will meet traffic needs for 20 years or more. It will have two lanes in either direction, plus a center turn lane.
The city will pay for curb, gutter and a detached sidewalk to be constructed along the widened roadway. It will also make stormwater retention improvements. The new sidewalk means pedestrians will be able to walk along the entire length of the project.
Twin Falls would have required the property developers to make these improvements, Baird said, but since the city wanted the project done sooner, it agreed to build the roadway in exchange for right-of-way. The city will replace some landscaping to make a smooth transition to the affected properties.
One resident asked at the City Council meeting if there were plans to include a bicycle pathway along Eastland Drive. Baird said there were not.
“You don’t want all of your vehicles and all of your bicycles on the same road,” he said.
Also at the meeting, the City Council granted Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office and Twin Falls Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit funds to purchase some needed technology. The unit investigates people who are involved in criminal organizations and have committed violent crimes.
The city also approved a guaranteed maximum price of $2.4 million for the downtown commons plaza and associated road work.