Cole Road was closed south of Fairview Avenue in January, then re-opened in March — and now it’s closed again.
That’s when all of the widening and improvements to the Cole/Fairview intersection will be finished, according to Nicole DuBois, a spokeswoman for the Ada County Highway District. The estimated eight-month project, which began in January, is a couple of weeks behind schedule, in part because of the snowy winter and wet spring.
“Construction is always hard, but I think the improvements are going to be huge at this intersection,” DuBois said. “I think people don’t realize that we’re people, too, and we have to drive through these projects. We really appreciate everyone’s patience.”
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Cole Road south of Fairview was closed earlier in the year to replace a culvert under the road, she said. That needed to be done before irrigation season started in April. It was closed again Monday for the intersection work.
Those who want to access Albertsons, Starbucks and other businesses in the area from northbound Cole Road can still do that, but through traffic on northbound Cole is being diverted to Emerald Street. The highway district also encourages motorists to use Milwaukee and Curtis roads.
Construction on Fairview Avenue, both east and west of the Cole Road intersection, has limited travel to one lane in each direction. The extensive project has affected businesses in the area.
The good news: Cole Road north of Fairview reopened on Monday. However, crews have not yet finished work on sidewalks, the median and landscaping in that area.
A gas station/convenience store is planned for the southwest corner of Cole/Fairview, DuBois said. The Ada County Highway District owns the lot where a Papa Murphy’s previously operated on the northeast corner (in front of Axiom); that lot will be paved. It’s unclear what the long-term plan for that lot is.
Some notable changes in the works for those who frequent the Albertsons/Starbucks area include “driveway consolidation,” or elimination of some entry/exit points, and the creation of right-in, right-out only driveways. The addition of U-turns for all directions at the intersection will help motorists exiting Albertsons on Cole (right only, or north, after the project is completed) — but who want to go left, or south.
Here’s what else we can expect when the project is completed:
▪ Additional left turn lanes for all directions of the intersection.
▪ Dedicated right turn lanes (right turn only) for all directions of the intersection.
▪ Protected bike lanes through the intersection on Fairview Avenue.
▪ Expanded sidewalks.
▪ Upgraded pedestrian ramps that are ADA-compliant.
▪ Pedestrian “refuges” (protected areas) halfway across Fairview Avenue for people who may need a little extra time getting across the intersection.
▪ A retaining wall on the northwest corner of the intersection, separating the parking lot from the sidewalk.
▪ A second lane added to the alley behind Idaho Pizza. That will allow motorists to travel east from Axiom.