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US-95: Lakeshore Drive to Sagle Road

Changes to US-95 between Lakeshore Drive and Sagle Road will increase safety for drivers on the highway and reduce delays for drivers turning onto it. This project will occur in two phases. Phase One is complete and Phase Two is underway.

Phase Two resumes in spring 2023
Phase One complete
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Phase Two Update

Construction on US-95 between Lakeshore Drive and Sagle Road is paused for winter. Work on the median U-turn and the associated retaining wall north of Bottle Bay Road will continue in spring 2023. A temporary concrete barrier has been placed at the retaining wall site to protect drivers from a steep drop-off.

Narrow Northbound US-95 Lane
Those driving on northbound US-95 should anticipate a lane narrowed to 11 feet between the center lane and guardrail. Signage will be up for the winter season indicating no roadway shoulder and a narrow northbound lane. The center and southbound lanes will not be affected. At this time, the speed limit will remain the same, but that could change this winter depending on driver behavior.

US-95 and Sagle Road Intersection
Foundations for the traffic signal have been constructed on the shoulder of US-95/Sagle Road. The signal will be installed and activated in late spring/early summer 2023.

When spring construction begins on the intersection, Sagle Road between US-95 and Lignite Road will be closed for up to a month to realign and widen the roadway.

During the closure, drivers can utilize the following detour routes:

-Traffic from south Sagle Road and Talache Road will be detoured through Lignite Road.
-Local traffic, including school buses, emergency vehicles, and residents living in the area, will be allowed through via Monarch Road.

Phase One Complete

Construction took place in late fall 2021 and spring 2022. The work added an acceleration lane for drivers turning onto US-95 southbound. Dedicated lanes for different turning movements from Lakeshore Drive were also established.

ITD had planned to restripe the existing center turn lane on US-95 to a dedicated turn lane for northbound traffic accessing Lakeshore Drive, but during construction received input from residents on Greenwood Avenue and decided to make no changes.

Final striping diagram

What is a U-turn?

U-turns give drivers who want to turn left onto US-95 an option to turn right first, travel downstream and then use a new lane to make a U-turn and rejoin traffic. These U-turns are designed to increase safety and traffic flow in areas such as the south end of the Long Bridge.

Turning Restrictions

The department plans to avoid restricting left turns from Lakeshore Drive onto US-95, but that could happen in the future. If it does, drivers will still be able to head north from Lakeshore Drive by using the U-turn to the south.

Long-term Study

Improvements that will be constructed in 2021-2023 are addressing immediate concerns by enhancing safety and mobility. ITD is also re-evaluating a study of US-95 from Sagle to Lakeshore Drive to identify any changes since the last study and provide more details on what US-95 will look like in the future. This process could take several years. ITD will share opportunities for the public to participate as this project progresses.

June 2022

FAQs published

In response to questions and comments received at the April 2022 open house, new FAQs were published.

April 21, 2022, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Northern Lights

Open house

Information about the project’s timeline, construction impacts, and future plans for the US-95 corridor were provided. The project team was available to answer questions, and no formal presentation was given.

Spring 2022

Phase One Final Construction

Final construction on Phase One will finalize striping at the intersection of US-95 and Lakeshore Drive. Two-way traffic will be maintained while the crews work during daytime hours.

December 2021

Phase One Substantially Complete

Phase One improvements were substantially completed in December 2021, with one change. ITD had planned to restripe the existing center turn lane on US-95 to a dedicated turn lane for northbound traffic accessing Lakeshore Drive, but during construction received input from residents on Greenwood Avenue and decided to make no changes.

November 2021

Open House Moved to Spring 2022

Originally the project team was planning an open house in fall 2021. Due to schedule changes, the open house is anticipated to take place in spring 2022 closer to construction of Phase Two.

October 2021

Phase One Construction

Phase One construction started in early October 2021.

View article
March 2021

Changes to US-95

Changes to US-95 south of Sandpoint planned for 2021 and 2021.

View article

Project
Updates

Phase Two construction is paused for the winter and will continue in spring 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions
After the open house on April 21, 2022, the project team identified the most common questions and provided answers here.
Can the speed limit be reduced to 45 mph through Sagle and the Long Bridge for safety?
Can the speed limit be reduced to 45 mph through Sagle and the Long Bridge for safety?

The department does not plan to decrease the speed limit. Speed limits on key routes are reviewed every couple of years and are set based on the speed most drivers are traveling. The last speed study for US-95 through Sagle was completed in 2019 and showed that most drivers travel approximately 52 mph. The current speed limit is consistent with the data. Artificially reducing the speed limit requires the consistent presence of law enforcement and proves to be less safe than allowing traffic to flow consistently.

Given all the motorhomes, boat trailers, etc. in our area, is there enough room in the turn lane for drivers to safely wait to make the U-turn?
Given all the motorhomes, boat trailers, etc. in our area, is there enough room in the turn lane for drivers to safely wait to make the U-turn?

Yes, the storage area for the U-turn is 155-feet long with another 400 feet available for deceleration. Beyond that, there is an existing two-way center turn lane that could be used if necessary.

The storage length was calculated based on the estimated number of drivers who would need to use it, how many gaps there are in oncoming traffic, and what speed drivers are traveling at. All highway improvements are designed to serve semi-trucks, which are typically longer than most recreational vehicle combinations.

Can a signal be placed at US-95 and Lakeshore Drive? How about a roundabout?
Can a signal be placed at US-95 and Lakeshore Drive? How about a roundabout?

ITD takes many factors into consideration when installing a traffic signal or roundabout, including traffic movement in all directions, pedestrian activity, speed limits, etc. to determine which solutions are appropriate for safety, mobility, and economic opportunity through the area. Neither a signal nor roundabout would be appropriate at this intersection.

A signal would cause more stop-and-go traffic that would result in an increase of rear-end collisions. Its proximity to the bridge would cause congestion on mainline US-95 and stopping on the bridge, which it wasn’t designed for. There is not enough turning traffic to justify slowing down drivers already on the highway. Signals can be warranted for many reasons, but one at Lakeshore Drive does not work as well as the U-turn option.

A roundabout in this location would not be compatible with the flow of traffic or volume of oversized vehicles that travel this route. Given heavy traffic that predominately flows to the north or south, drivers would still struggle to find gaps to enter the roundabout. Traffic would also have to be slowed down significantly to enter the roundabout at a safe speed and the roundabout would have to be very large to accommodate the turning radius of larger vehicles. This design would likely result in loss of property to nearby businesses and residents.

The recently constructed changes at US-95 and Lakeshore Drive are an interim solution. ITD is actively studying various alternatives for the long-term solution at Lakeshore and US-95, including an interchange, as well as the rest of the corridor between Sagle and the Long Bridge. When information becomes available, it will be posted to itdprojects.org/us95lakeshoredrive.

Can a signal be placed at US-95 and Bottle Bay Road?
Can a signal be placed at US-95 and Bottle Bay Road?

Earlier efforts with this project examined options to improve traffic flow and safety, and a U-turn for southbound drivers was identified as the best. The department has not identified any funding for construction and recommends drivers take Lignite Road to Sagle Road, and use the new signal that will be installed with the project.

What factors are considered when adding turn lanes?
What factors are considered when adding turn lanes?

ITD analyzes crash data and turning counts when determining whether turn lanes are needed. Safety projects are competitively funded on a statewide basis, meaning that available funding is first directed at areas of the greatest need. When prioritizing safety projects, the benefit of the proposed improvement and the cost are taken into account; more effective, low-cost solutions are implemented first.

When will the next Sagle study be implementable? The intersections with US-95 in Sagle are already very dangerous.
When will the next Sagle study be implementable? The intersections with US-95 in Sagle are already very dangerous.

ITD is currently reevaluating a study of US-95 from Sagle to Lakeshore Drive to identify any additional transportation needs and provide a lookahead to the future of the highway. The study process could take several years due to environmental considerations and will result in several phases of improvements that will be constructed over decades as funding becomes available.

Corridor plans usually detail significant, complex improvements that may take decades to complete. A nearby plan from Garwood to Sagle was finished in 2010. While some segments were completed in the years following, some are in construction today, and some are being updated to be ready for future construction funding opportunities. The department maintains environmental and design studies to take quick action when funding becomes available.

When information becomes available on the ongoing study, it will be posted at itdprojects.org/us95lakeshoredrive.

If ITD must buy you out, how much notice do you get, and what is the procedure?
If ITD must buy you out, how much notice do you get, and what is the procedure?

Property owners are consulted during the design process, including an initial contact when all impacts may not be known or for certain. Communication continues throughout the design process until it is ready to be constructed. Most projects are planned seven years in advance.

Before land or easements are purchased, independent appraisals will be conducted, and owners will have the chance to negotiate. The department pays fair market value for impacts.

The right-of-way section of ITD is responsible for the acquisition of all property required for highway construction, material sources, and maintenance shed sites. For more information about the ROW process, please visit https://itd.idaho.gov/row.

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US-95 Lakeshore Drive

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