- Project development consists of three distinct, but highly integrated processes that must all be satisfied before construction can begin.
- The environmental process consists of evaluating alternatives in light of mandated requirements stipulated by the National Environmental Policy Act.
- A proposed alternate cannot be selected until the environmental process is satisfied.
- The right-of-way portion consists of evaluating the right-of-way needs for the selected alternative, the preparation of right-of-way plans, and the acquisition of right-of-way.
- The design portion consists of evaluating alternatives based on functionality, designing improvements based on state and federal guidelines, and preparing plans and specifications.
The Idaho Transportation Department is continuing to work on final design plans and right-of-way appraisals for the U.S. 95, Thorncreek Road to Moscow Project. Design work is expected to be completed this spring and right-of-way appraisals will continue until the fall.
The Federal Highway Administration and ITD evaluated many alternatives for the new highway alignment, including western, central and eastern routes. The final eastern route (E2) was chosen after a multi-year environmental review process. ITD received a Record of Decision (ROD) from the Federal Highway Administration in March of 2016. The ROD gave ITD the authority to begin final design and purchase land.
A legal motion was brought against FHWA and ITD regarding the Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for this project. In August 2017, the U.S. District Court for Idaho ruled against the motion in favor of FHWA and ITD. In January, an appeal to the ruling was filed in the ninth circuit court. ITD/FHWA submitted comments on the appeal on April 11, 2018. ITD does not anticipate a decision until later this year or early 2019.
Please call Ken Helm at (208)799-5090 if you have any questions about the project.