City braces for Highway 55 construction impact

This map shows the section of Idaho Highway 55 which will see widening, reduction of curves and new guardrails installed. Construction is anticipated to last up to two years.

PAYETTE — During the regular meeting of the Payette City Council on Monday, city officials discussed an upcoming two-year construction project along Idaho Highway 55 between Smiths Ferry and Rainbow Bridge along the Payette River. Mayor Jeff Williams addressed the potential for increased traffic along U.S. Highway 95 within the city during anticipated daytime closures.

“Get your grandkids or kids out to sell lemonade, stands and all that,” joked Williams during the meeting.

The construction project will “widen shoulders, minimize roadway curves, and

install guardrail sections in certain locations,” according to a construction notice from Idaho Transportation Department.

“It could affect traffic on Hwy. 95 through Payette if people who normally travel Hwy. 55 don’t want to travel through the construction,” wrote City Clerk Mary Cordova in an email on Aug. 18.

According to the notice, work will reduce travel to one-way alternating traffic, controlled by a temporary signal. In the fall (September to November) and spring (March to June), daytime and nighttime work is set to take place seven days a week, including full road closures Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Construction will pause during the winter months, late November through February, allowing all lanes to be open. In the summer months (June to August), daytime and nighttime work will take place weekday mornings.

Construction begins in September and is expected to be completed in late fall 2022.

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