Boise & Garden City

St. Luke’s hosting open house Monday on proposed Downtown Boise expansion

Representatives of St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center will explain steps the hospital is taking to offset a proposed closure of Jefferson Street between Avenue B and 1st Street at a two-hour open house Monday.

Contrary to prior reports, Ada County Highway District officials said they do not plan to attend.

St. Luke’s says the Jefferson closure is essential to its $400 million expansion plan. The hospital will offer virtual displays that show paths and road improvements proposed as part of the Downtown campus of the future.

The proposals include new bike and pedestrian routes, such as a two-way bike track around the campus and a 10-foot path through the heart of it, that hospital officials say would offset the loss of the section of Jefferson Street. Other changes include the addition of roundabouts and the reworking of streets at several intersections near the campus.

The open house is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Fort Boise Park.

People who live in the East End and other nearby neighborhoods have complained about the proposed Jefferson closure, largely because it would cost them a popular route for driving, walking and biking through the northeast corner of Downtown.

The dispute is working its way through city government. The City Council is scheduled to discuss the proposed expansion and closure for the second time on May 19.

St. Luke’s representatives will be available Monday to answer questions and provide additional information, according to a news release from the hospital.

This will be the latest in a series of meetings and other outreach events St. Luke’s has held on its proposed expansion. A community open house was held April 4 at Fort Boise Park, allowing community members to learn more about the project, ask questions and take virtual tours.

If the St. Luke’s Boise development plan is approved, its construction will be phased in over seven years.