The four-year reconstruction of Federal Way finished in early November. The modern arterial road now features lush landscaping on the medians and shoulders, decorative guardrails and paving accents and three scenic turnouts, which give motorists an opportunity for panoramic views of downtown and the Boise Front.
The $24.5 project transforms a poor-performing, two-lane highway lacking paved shoulders and sidewalks into a mostly five-lane arterial road with sidewalks and a joint-use pedestrian and bicycle pathway. Extensive use of Federal Aid funding in cooperation with the Idaho Transportation Department dramatically reduced the amount of local tax dollars expended on the project.
Federal transportation funds paid for 61 percent of the entire 5.4-mile project. For the project's first three phases - Vista Avenue to Overland Road, Broadway Avenue to the New York Canal and Overland Road to Broadway " federal funds comprised 83 percent of the $18 million spent. ACHD completely funded one portion of the project " New York Canal to East Lake Forest Drive " at a cost of $6.2 million.
Improvements to the road, which was established in the mid-1920s, were needed to address existing deficiencies in traffic-carrying capacity and non-automotive access. The project dramatically upgrades the link to southeast Boise and will handle the projected traffic volume for the next quarter century. Current traffic volumes on Federal Way range from 7,000 vehicle trips a day near Amity Road to about 22,000 trips near Broadway. By 2025, the volume is expected to increase to 40,000 daily trips near Broadway.
Studies undertaken in the late 1980s identified the shortcomings with Federal Way and outlined community expectations that went beyond moving traffic. The addition of the turnouts and recreational pathways (now part of the Ridge to Rivers trail system) and the extensive landscaping were made in response to input from the public and Boise City.
The finished product is a road that looks good, provides great views of downtown Boise and the Foothills and creates a vital, high-volume route to burgeoning Southeast Boise.
A dedication for the finished road will occur on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Family Center retail complex. Expected speakers include ACHD President David Wynkoop and ACHD Commissioner Susan Eastlake; Boise Mayor Brent Coles and Charles Winder, chairman of Transportation Board of the Idaho Transportation Department.
Impact on your Commute
Phase One -- Completed in 1999
Phase one included the roadway from Vista Avenue to Overland Road. This phase was finished in 1999 and included five lanes from Kootenai Street to Overland Road and three lanes from Kootenai Street to Vista Avenue. Other roadway improvements included landscaping, sidewalk and bicycle facilities that connected into the downtown area.
Phase Two -- Completed in July of 2001
Phase two included the roadway from Broadway Avenue to the New York Canal. lanes and a sidewalk on the south side of the roadway. The north side of the roadway has a separated joint-use pedestrian/bicycle pathway and a 14-foot high earth wall next to the Ridenbaugh Canal.
Phase Three -- Overland Road to Broadway Avenue.
This phase is in the final phase of construction. The anticipated completion date is the beginning of November 2002.
This stretch includes a five lane roadway with sidewalks on the south side. The north side has a separated, joint-use pathway with an overlook. Both sides of the roadway will be landscaped.
Phase Four -- New York Canal to East Lake Forest Drive
This phase of Federal Way is inth efinal phase of construction. The anticipated completion date is November 2002.
It will be upgraded to a modern five-lane roadway with curbs, gutters and separated sidewalks, bicycle path and pedestrian bridge. Local funding is being used to pay for this construction.