The beginning of the Highway 16 extension became a reality last week when a ceremonial groundbreaking took place at the southwest corner of Idaho highways 16 and 44. Many commuters and supporters of the project were excited to attend and see the first phase kicked off. The first phase of the Central Valley Expressway (CVE) over the Boise River will connect Chinden Boulevard (US 20/26) and State Street (Idaho Highway 44) It will be a high-speed, four lane highway.

The public ceremony held on May 24, featured speakers Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Sen. Chuck Winder and CVE Coalition Chairman Mary May. Idaho Transportation Department Chairman Jerry Whitehead was the guest emcee. CVEV sponsored the populated event.

Commemorative coins were available for the attendees as well as snacks. Emmett High School student Cherish Armstrong played “Here we have Idaho” with her tuba for the audience. A 1,700 foot bridge will be built to cross the Boise River and connect to State Street. The highway from Boise River to Chinden Boulevard will be completed and a bridge will be built over Phyllis Canal. Construction on the new intersections at State Street and Chinden Boulevard will begin and new access roads will be built. The contractor for the $19.4 million project is Concrete Placing Co Inc., of Boise.

GARVEE funded the design and development of the Highway 16 route. It will provide another north-south link as the population continues to grow. It is estimated that 22,000 drivers will use the route every day. The 2.5 mile project will take two years to complete.

Three phases to completion

The groundbreaking ceremony last week was the beginning of a two year, 2.5 mile extension of Highway 16 which will connect Chinden Boulevard (US 20/26) and State Street (Idaho highway 44).

Two environmental impact statements have been completed in 2006 and 2011, covering the entire CVE location.

The ultimate route, which does not yet have funding, will be a 6.5 mile route connecting Highway 16 to Interstate 84 creating an employment super corridor. This decision was signed by the Federal Highway Administration in 2011. The project will consist of three phases.

PHASE 1

Boise River bridge and north stage

This phase is the construction of a new route from Highway 44 extending just south of the Boise River including a bridge over the river. This phase has begun. This $19.4 million project is expected to reach completion in the spring of 2014.

PHASE 2

Phyllis Canal Bridge and south stage

This phase includes construction of a new road from the south end of the river crossing to Chinden Boulevard (US 20/26), including Phyllis Canal bridge. Property will be acquired by ITD. Plans for the project will be advertised to potential contractors in June 2012 with the completion expected in 2014.

PHASE 3

Intersection at Highways 44, 16, 20/26 and Local Roads

Intersections will be built at Highway 16 and U.S. 20/26 and at Highway 16 and 44. Local roads are needed to provide access and will be built at this time. Remaining property will be acquired by ITD and the project will be advertised to potential contractors in the fall/winter of 2012 with completion expected in late 2014.