GeoEngineers is part of the consultant team recently awarded design of the Interstate 84 (I-84) Meridian Road Interchange project in southwestern Idaho. This major transportation corridor runs through the Treasure Valley, Idaho’s business and population center, and is anchored by Nampa to the west and Boise to the east, with Meridian located halfway in between the two cities.
In making the award, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) selection committee cited the quality of work by the team—Parametrix (prime), HNTB, T-O Engineers and GeoEngineers—on the Idaho 16 (SH-16) extension project, a high-profile, fast-track project now under construction about seven miles northwest of the I-84 Interchange site.
Paul Wasser, PE, the Boise-based geotechnical business unit leader and Associate leading the project for GeoEngineers, is excited about the design concept the project team will be carrying through to final design. “The concept for the new interchange includes a Single Point Urban Interchange, or SPUI. It will completely replace the existing structure and be about three times as wide as the old overpass. The ramps will be reconfigured so that all left-turning traffic passes through one signalized intersection on top of the structure. This configuration has become common for developed urban areas where additional right-of-way is unavailable or very difficult to acquire.”
In recent years, ITD completed a series of GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle)-funded road-widening and overpass projects along the I-84 corridor, but the 47-year-old overpass at Meridian Road remained a bottleneck where motorists had to squeeze from eight lanes of traffic down to six. Area residents’ desires to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety also helped make this project a priority. The new Meridian interchange will serve through-traffic and the new on- and off-ramps will serve motorists traveling between the fast-growing communities of Meridian, Kuna, Eagle and Star.
Paul reports that the team received pre-Notice-to-Proceed in mid-December. ”We started drilling operations on January 2, 2013 and expect drilling to continue into February. It will include at least a week of night-time work on the I-84 mainline to reduce impacts to traffic,” he said, adding, “This is a great opportunity for GeoEngineers to contribute in a positive way to Idaho’s communities.”