Widening ten miles of US-12 will increase safety on this narrow, winding route.
Shoulders of the highway will be widened to two feet.Read More
Shoulders will be widened to two feet, and rumble strips will be added to the center line of no-passing zones. The highway will also be resurfaced, and drainage culverts will be replaced.Visualize the difference
Between 2014 and 2018, there were 23 crashes in the project limits. They resulted in one fatality (September 2016) and 12 injuries.
Wider shoulders would ultimately be safer by allowing drivers more time and space to recover after leaving their lane or to react to wildlife on the road. Rumble strips will help drivers maintain their lane of travel. Although no crashes were related to the presence of bicyclists, wider shoulders would help separate them from cars and trucks, increasing their safety.
ITD is evaluating the effect of proposed changes on wetlands, wildlife, archaeological sites and more. Given the highway’s designation as a scenic byway along a Wild and Scenic River, ITD has been working closely with the U.S. Forest Service.
Proposed improvements will be designed to blend in with the natural scenery. For example, road signs will be painted brown on the back, and new retaining walls will be covered with vegetation so that they will not be visible to river users.
A study has been underway since 2019 to catalog and identify any areas that may be of cultural concern to the Nez Perce Tribe.
Once the study is complete, ITD will work with the tribe to avoid any areas and to mitigate any adverse effects if necessary. This process must be complete before ITD can finish the environmental process and obtain any land or easements needed to widen the highway.
Study completion is anticipated in 2020/2021.
ITD plans to widen the shoulders of US-12 from Syringa area to Warm Springs (60 miles). Most projects are in design, and all are dependent on the completion of the study with the Nez Perce Tribe.
Widening projects currently in design besides this project include 4 miles in 2026 between Saddle Camp Road and Post Office Creek and another eight miles in 2027 from Tumble Creek to the Lochsa Ranger Station. For a complete list of projects, visit itd.idaho.gov/funding.
The design team is reviewing comments submitted during the online meeting from June 4 – 25. Stay tuned for a response to the most common comments.