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Want to hike Table Rock or visit the Old Pen? Road construction could slow you down

A walk in the Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden is the perfect place to see plants and wildflowers in the spring, and it's right in Boise's backyard.
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The Idaho Botanical Garden is the perfect place to see plants and wildflowers in the spring, and it's right in Boise's backyard.

Construction began Monday on the road to several popular Boise attractions, kicking off what officials estimate will be roughly three months of roadwork.

According to a news release from the Idaho State Historical Society, crews will replace Old Penitentiary Road from its intersection with Warm Springs Avenue up to the east end of the Idaho Botanical Garden. The route serves as an access point to the Old Idaho Penitentiary, the Idaho Botanical Garden, the trailhead to hike to Table Rock and the Idaho State Archives.

The road and access to all attractions will remain open throughout construction, the news release said. However, visitors should expect delays and be prepared to park farther away from some destinations.

“We recognize the Old Idaho Penitentiary Historic District is an increasingly popular destination for a variety of visitors and accessibility is of the highest priority,” said Janet Gallimore, executive director of the Idaho State Historical Society, in the news release. “There has been a lot of interest from the community in providing an updated road and we are happy to announce the project is approved and moving forward as expeditiously as possible.”

The work will be done in three phases. The first, which starts Monday, will include demolition, excavation, removal of medians and grading and leveling of the road. Phase two, installation of new drains, gutters, landscaping and sidewalks, is scheduled to start in mid-August. The first week of October should mark the start of phase three, when the road will be repaved. Officials say the project should conclude by mid-October.

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