Tuesday, May 27, 2014

D Street project entering home stretch

A train passing over the new D Street bridge. To the left is the "shoefly," used to keep traffic moving while the bridge was being built.
Work on the D Street Underpass in Idaho Falls is entering the home stretch, but with a caveat. We are talking about a project that involves the railroad, which means everything usually takes longer than expected.

Trains are rolling over the structure, which means the "shoefly" that was constructed to accommodate traffic while the structure was being built will be removed. But the original plan was for trains to be rolling over the structure by January, and it didn't start happening until this month. While the projected date for the underpass reopening on the city's Web site is still June, Kent Fugal of the city's public works department said they expect it to be more like late July, even as late as mid-August.

When finished, the structure will have two westbound lanes, one eastbound lane and a wide sidewalk (which will be at the same level as the street). Although there will be no lane specifically dedicated to bike traffic, Fugal said the lanes will be wide enough so that riding a bike downtown won't be the terrifying experience the old structure provided so amply.