A fiery crash June 16 spurred a race to widen Cloverdale Road, including its bridge over Interstate 84, between Ada County Highway District and the Idaho Transportation Department.
The highway district's governing board voted Wednesday to widen a two-lane section of Cloverdale between the Ridenbaugh Canal and Camas Drive. The road is already five lanes — two lanes in both directions and a turn lane between them — on either side of that roughly half-mile stretch.
ITD expects to finish the bridge about this time next year, and the highway district will try to match that schedule. The bridge will remain closed during that period, as it has been since seven vehicles, including two semi trucks, collided under or near the bridge. The crash caused vehicles to burst into flames and killed four people.
The 20-minute fire damaged the bridge badly enough that ITD engineers determined heavy vehicles driving on it could cause chunks to fall on to the freeway below. They also concluded that, untraveled, the bridge itself posed no damage to the people driving under it.
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On Friday, the ITD's board approved spending up to $8 million to replace the two-lane bridge with one that has four lanes instead of $1.5 million to repair it. Design work has already begun. ITD expects to include bike lanes and sidewalks on the bridge. ITD is looking into reducing its costs by obtaining insurance money from the crash's at-fault driver, spokesman Jake Melder said.
The highway district expects the road-widening project to cost more than $3 million, said David Wallace, deputy director for plans and projects. The district hopes to piggyback on ITD's contract to save money, Wallace said.
Under normal circumstances, he said, the widening project might take as long as four years, partly due to complications such as working around utility lines and replacing the bridge over the canal, which must be done during the fall or winter months when the canal is dry.