Construction crews build new overpass

Construction crews work along Pancheri Drive where they are replacing the Pancheri Overpass near Idaho Falls. The project will continue seven days a week until November. JORDAN HINCKLEY | Scroll Photography

Roadway construction continues near Idaho Falls, reducing traffic to one lane in each direction.

The construction to replace the overpass is located on Pancheri Drive, just south Idaho Falls and started on May 2.

The overpass is being replaced by a wider structure with two lanes of traffic, and a bike and pedestrian path in both directions.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in November of this year.

This new construction project is designed to reduce traffic congestion on Pancheri Drive while also improving the flow and safety of traffic.

The Pancheri Overpass was built in 1962  has reached its “design life.”

This is the estimated time in which a facility can be expected to perform its designed function.

Bryan Young, the staff engineer of the Idaho Falls Auto Transportation Department, said that the construction will be beneficial to Idaho Falls.

“The old bridge is outdated; it’s not built for the traffic flow it’s getting. Its design life is over. It’ll help a lot with both pedestrian traffic and motor traffic.

It’ll also help a lot to get traffic moving from east to west and across the freeway,” Young said.

Travel will be kept at one lane in each direction, and no serious traffic backups are expected. Construction will take place seven days a week.

During construction, drivers may consider following safety precautions such as looking for construction crews.

“No delays should be expected. We’re trying to minimize them,” Young said.

The construction will close Pioneer Road, in Idaho Falls, at its intersection with Pancheri Drive.

Pioneer Road can be accessed through Sunnyside Road.

The new overpass will be erected just south of the existing one, after which the old overpass will be removed.

The project will also include building a new five-lane roadway on each side of the new overpass between Blue Sky Drive and a point near Utah Avenue.

The construction crews will also install stormwater treatment, control systems, light poles, a traffic signal, curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

The Idaho Transportation Department, Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization, Bonneville County and City of Idaho Falls are all participating in this project.

The Idaho Falls Transportation Department awarded HK Contractors Inc. the $9 million contract on May 9 for this project.

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