Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, July 30, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Sprinklers turned off during work along Ustick Road ruined grass; the intersection of Shenandoah and Roanoke drives in Boise "springs" a leak; concern about flashing yellow arrow left-turn signal at Five Mile Road and Chinden Boulevard

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: We live along Ustick Road. The construction workers turned off the sprinklers to our common area. This happened during the heat wave. Luckily we caught it in time and turned the sprinklers back on. But the development next to us lost their grass. How are they allowed to do that without notifying someone or at least turning them back on? Signed Burned!

Signed Burned!

Road Wizard:

It's hard enough to keep grass alive during a month-long stretch of above 90 degree temperatures.

Sprinklers are sometimes shut off to accommodate work on or around roadways. They can flood excavated areas and ruin fresh concrete. Property owners should be notified, but that doesn't always happen.

ACHD requires that contractors turn sprinklers back on when finished. If a project is ongoing, the contractor is required to provide watering services. Any damage to the sprinklers or the landscaping is to be repaired or replaced.

Occasionally, sprinkler lines are damaged by utility companies. Those companies are likewise responsible for repairs. Don't get hosed! Call ACHD with location details -- they want to help.

Dear Road Wizard: Immediately following the seal coating last summer of Shenandoah Drive in east Boise, a water leak appeared at the intersection with Roanoke Drive. ACHD has several times patched the pavement, but within 30 seconds after each crew leaves, the spring re-erupts. This isn't a pavement problem, it's either a new spring (there are several in the neighborhood), or a broken water pipe. It's time to get to the source!

Jerry Q.

Road Wizard:

This is literally a "spring a leak." The thought of a bubbling natural spring sounds lovely, but it has become a real nuisance.

A permanent fix involves installing drains and pipes, and a lane closure would be necessary.

It hasn't been done yet because of road work on Jefferson Street related to the expansion of St. Luke's Regional Medical Center. Rerouted drivers may be traveling the foothills near Shenandoah and Roanoke, and ACHD doesn't want to add to the traffic headaches. That part of the hospital work should be done in time for the spring issue to be properly handled in September.

Dear Road Wizard: We live near Five Mile Road and Chinden Boulevard. The light at this intersection was changed to add a blinking yellow light for a left turn from westbound Chinden onto Five Mile. I have concern that a serious or fatal crash will occur. Westbound traffic turns close in front of vehicles (two lanes) heading eastbound over a hill at the 50 mph speed limit or greater. Many vehicles are cutting the corner, and I have seen near misses. Either drivers think those coming eastbound have a red light or they don't realize just how fast that traffic is coming. We need a solid green arrow to turn left.

Road Wizard:

Traffic engineers at ACHD had their own concerns about using flashing yellow arrow left-turn signals at higher-speed locations. But it's been determined that drivers can handle the maneuver.

Making a left turn on a flashing yellow arrow during breaks in oncoming traffic can present greater risk than turning on a green arrow. But there is also a green left-turn arrow displayed on Chinden turning onto Five Mile as part of the signal cycle. Waiting through the flashing yellow arrow to get that light is allowed, but the next person in line may not approve.

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