The Broadway Bridge, which has been under construction since January, is set to have a grand opening ceremony Sept. 9.
Idaho Transportation Department officials weren’t previously sure if all lanes of Broadway Avenue would reopen until later in the month. (They expected a partial opening in time for the Sept. 10 Boise State football home opener.)
But a Thursday announcement from the agency said the bridge will be fully open by 1 p.m., as will the Greenbelt paths on both sides of the Boise River and all lanes of University Drive, Myrtle and Front streets.
The new $20.2 million bridge will have six lanes of traffic, bicycle lanes, 10-foot-wide sidewalks, three scenic overlooks on both sides as well as stairs and ramps to the Boise Greenbelt.
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Some work will still continue at the bridge after the grand opening, as previously expected, ITD spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez confirmed.
Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Boise State University President Robert Kustra and ITD Department Director Brian Ness will host the opening together.
Q&A: Broadway Bridge rebuild
Q: So what’s all this construction been about?
The old Broadway Bridge outlived its design life and does not meet today’s safety standards. It can no longer accommodate the 25,000 vehicles that cross it each day, along with numerous bicyclists and pedestrians, officials said. In the next 10 years, usage is expected to increase by 10,000 vehicles and other users.
Q: What options do drivers have until the new bridge is up?
The Broadway Bridge is one of only a handful of vehicle bridges near Downtown Boise that cross the river, limiting the number of alternate routes for motorists.
Area traffic is being diverted to West ParkCenter Boulevard, which crosses the river about one-half mile northeast of Broadway via Beacon Street. Motorists can also use Boise Avenue, along with West University Drive through the Boise State University campus and South Capitol Boulevard.
A portion of Broadway north of University Drive remains open to allow customers to reach the Chili’s restaurant and other nearby businesses. They can leave along the same route.
The Idaho Transportation Department has worked closely with the Ada County Highway District to adjust the timing of traffic lights for increased traffic on the detour route, ITD spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez said in January.
“It’s on the top of all of our agendas to make the area accessible and remind the public that the businesses are open,” Gonzalez said.
Q: I use the Greenbelt. What do I need to know?
Bicyclists heading east on the north side of the Boise Greenbelt are being diverted onto Myrtle Street and Park Boulevard before rejoining the Greenbelt at Ferguson Street. A concrete barrier separates bicyclists from other motorists on Myrtle and Park, and they’re given a full traffic lane.
On the south side, bicyclists follow a portion of Cesar Chavez Lane along the northeastern corner of the Boise State campus, then get back on the Greenbelt via Belmont Street and Leadville Avenue. Signs guide the way.
When the project is completed, it will provide paved ramps from the Greenbelt to Broadway Avenue. Three of the four sides will also have a staircase leading to the road.
A new boat ramp will be constructed at the southeast corner to provide emergency responders access to the Boise River.