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US-20 Ashton to SH-87 JCT

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is conducting a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study of the US-20 corridor between Ashton and the ID-87 Junction.

Increasing traffic is causing congestion and crashes. Improvements are needed to maintain a safe roadway and reliable connection to adjacent communities, Yellowstone National Park, and the region.

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What is a PEL?

Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) processes help weigh the benefits and impacts of proposed transportation system improvements to the environment, community, and economy during the transportation planning process. The purpose of PEL is to coordinate statewide and transportation planning with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to streamline project delivery.

The PEL process will identify and analyze US-20 between Ashton and the SH-87 Junction and will look at ways to address the following deficiencies:

      • Travel time and delays
      • Congestion
      • Safety – specifically, with the goal of reducing the number and severity of crashes
      • Outdated design standards

The PEL will look at preliminary concept alternatives that can be implemented as funding becomes available. Using public input, and data from the traffic and other scientific studies, the project team will develop concept level alternatives for the corridor.

      • Alternatives may include upgrades/changes to the current alignment of the highway
      • Alternatives will consider both on and off alignment solutions, additional lanes, access control, and spot safety improvements
      • Short term improvements have already been identified and scheduled as propjets in the ITIP (Idaho Transportation Improvement Program), they are US-20 Mack’s Inn Intersection (KN23241) and US-20 Elk Creek Intersection (KN23240)

Traffic studies will be updated often throughout the PEL process to reflect the vibrant and changing nature of the population traveling the highway.

The PEL process will screen alternatives based on the following environmental criteria:

  •  Visual
  • Agricultural and Forest Resources
  • Air Quality
  • Biological Resources
  • Cultural Resources
  • Geology and Soils
  • Hazards and Hazardous Materials
  • Hydrology and Water Quality
  • Land use and Transportation Planning
  • Noise
  • Social and Economics

Read more about the PEL process here
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