FRUITLAND - As work on the 100,000 sq. ft. expansion of Swire Coca-Cola’s Fruitland Production Plant continues, so does work to improve outbound traffic flow from the facility. At its Jan. 27 meeting, the Fruitland City Council reviewed a Purchase and Sale Agreement between Swire Coca-Cola and the city regarding the extension of Northwest Seventh Street east from U.S. Route 95 to the facility.

Trucks coming in and out of the plant presently use Northwest Fourth Street — a residential street — to access U.S. Route 95.

“The ultimate reason for Northwest Seventh Street is a continuous east/west transportation corridor from Pennsylvania Avenue to Allen Avenue,” according to City Administrator Rick Watkins. “West First Street and Northwest 16th Street (U.S. 30) are a mile apart and are two of only three streets that collect traffic east and west of the Fruitland city limits.”

Watkins said the work plays into the city’s comprehensive plan.

“The current project is just another piece of the Northwest Seventh Street overall goal,” said Watkins. 

Watkins says the money to construct the extension comes from a combination of a $500,000 Idaho Community Development Block Grant and the city’s Street Fund. In exchange for Swire Coca-Cola conveying the site of the road extension to the city, the city will cover permitting of the existing encroachment at the northwest corner of the property with Idaho Transportation Department and construction of additional capacity in the retention facility to account for stormwater runoff and all future maintenance of the retention facility.

“Our partnership with Swire Coca-Cola includes their donation of the entire street right of way and the storm water retention basin property,” said Watkins. 

Council Ed Pierson moved to accept the agreement, seconded by Councilor Jeff Carpenter. The vote to approve was unanimous.

The project is scheduled to bid this month, with the award to be made March 9.

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