Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, August 13, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

ACHD will fix winter-damaged sidewalks, and homeowners can coordinate driveway repairs with the work; long-standing warning sign on Swan Falls Road due to busted hinges on sewer pump manhole lid; no stop to some drivers turning right from southbound Broadway Avenue onto Front Street and quickly cutting across four lanes to use shopping entrance

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: The sidewalks and gutters in our neighborhood were damaged severely by last winter's harsh weather. Several months ago, an ACHD inspector came around to examine the damage and made a lot of white spray paint arrows pointing out damaged sections. Our driveway is in similar shape. If a repair/replace project goes forward, we would like to talk to the contractor to see if we can piggyback a driveway replacement at the same time.


Road Wizard:

ACHD has been marking the many winter-damaged sidewalks and gutters around Ada County for the past couple of months. Repairs will be made in front of about 180 properties. The work should begin this fall.

It's common for homeowners to replace driveways during sidewalk projects. Impacted residents will be sent a letter explaining how they can coordinate with or even hire ACHD's contractor for driveway repairs or other jobs.

Dear Road Wizard: I enjoy reading your column weekly, and learn a lot about rules, etc. There is a sawhorse-type warning obstacle with yellow tape over what looks like a manhole right in the middle of Swan Falls Road. This is a narrow road and this obstacle has been in place since well before our Snowmageddon winter. Perhaps it was forgotten about?


Road Wizard:

The City of Kuna has a special dual sewer pump system. The pumps require a lot of maintenance and the access points are on Swan Falls Road.

These manholes are more like "mansquares." The city was allowed to include hinges on the square lids to make the pumps easier to reach. However, the hinges were above street level, which doesn't comply with ACHD requirements.

As a result, ACHD snowplows continually ripped off the hinges. The city kept welding them back on, but now the lids are beyond repair. They can't hold up under the weight of traffic.

It has taken awhile for the city to find an engineer-approved design for new lids that can accommodate frequent use while also keeping everything below blade level. The lids are expected to arrive by the end of the month and should be installed soon after.

Dear Road Wizard: When traveling southbound on Broadway Avenue, there are times when traffic can't make a right onto Front Street because the lead car is waiting for all four lanes to be clear so that they can drive horizontally across the lanes into the side entrance of the shopping center. Could either the pedestrian island or the entrance be adjusted to make this vehicular version of Frogger less appealing?

Road Wizard:

The right turn from Broadway to Front works better after the Idaho Transportation Department added a pedestrian island and a "free" right turn of sorts, but it hasn't stopped the quick lane crossing.

ACHD observed drivers making the right turn during the peak morning drive time. Of the 302 vehicles counted, only 10 percent came to a full stop, while the rest used the free-flowing turn appropriately. Many of the full-stop people were the ones cutting across the traffic lanes.

Extending the pedestrian island along the right turn may better discourage this behavior. But drivers merging appropriately to reach the next shopping access down the street would have less distance to do so. And the costly job of relocating driveways isn't justified since the Front Street Frogger game is more of an annoyance than a safety risk.

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