Ada County Highway District

ACHD's Road Wizard Sunday, September 10, 2017 ACHD's Road Wizard

Water ponds along Lake Hazel Road near Apsley Avenue dried up; fix for troublesome asphalt wrinkle at the entrance to Interstate 184 from Franklin Road scheduled; large concrete median island on Eagle Road at McMillan Road was built to reduce turning conflicts.

The Road Wizard Replies

Dear Road Wizard: Water is almost constantly ponded in several areas along the north side of Lake Hazel Road between Apsley Avenue and the soccer fields. Can the areas be graded so the water can drain and not become mosquito breeding ponds?


Road Wizard:

Perhaps naming the road Lake Hazel was a little like tempting fate. But instead of going forward with reconstructing the shoulder slope, why not find out where the water is coming from?

The Road Wizard could wander around with a dowsing rod, but the source is pretty obvious. The homeowners association was overwatering the landscaping along Lake Hazel.

This is a common problem in Ada County, despite the fact that flooding a road is a violation of state law. The rule is rarely enforced, so ACHD, which has no enforcement power anyway, concentrates on educating violators. ACHD asked the HOA to turn the water down, and the pools have receded.

Dear Road Wizard: I wrote to you in November 2016 about a bad asphalt wrinkle on the eastbound entrance to Interstate 184 at Franklin Road. I and other taxpayers were assured that this would be addressed, in my and even others' letters. Nine months later, nothing has been done. How many front-end suspensions have to be ruined before this is finally taken care of?


Road Wizard:

We all want the bump to disappear, but scheduling a fix-it date was difficult. Largely because the intersection involves two agencies, ACHD and the Idaho Transportation Department.

Also, the work has to be done at night. The location involves an on-ramp, off-ramp and high traffic volumes, plus Boise Towne Square traffic.

I can understand the doubts about the project getting started, but the work is now scheduled for later this month.

Dear Road Wizard: When the Eagle Road and McMillan Road intersection was completed several years ago, there was a nice long two-lane, left-turn area for those turning westbound onto McMillan from northbound Eagle. But most of the left-turn lanes became a giant concrete median that doesn't seem to serve any purpose. Now, cars that would like to turn left onto McMillan are stuck in the northbound Eagle lanes, reducing the amount of traffic that can turn left on each cycle. Any particular reason for this giant mass of concrete?


Road Wizard:

The concrete is part of a median curb/island that the Idaho Transportation Department installed to reduce left-turn related crashes on business-lined Eagle Road/Idaho 55. The traffic barrier runs the length of Eagle from Chinden Boulevard to Interstate 84 and limits the number of left-turn opportunities between traffic signals.

ITD's access management plan came before the Eagle and McMillan project, so the intersection expansion design had to include left-turn restrictions for those wishing to access business driveways near the signal. That's where the super-sized concrete island comes in.

The expanded storage capacity for the two left-turn lanes is about 730 feet. That's quite long and moves traffic well most of the time, except for during some portions of the evening commute.

Perhaps some of the shared center turn lane could have remained open to allow space for drivers to access the left-turn lanes sooner, but people are not allowed to travel more than 100 feet in a center lane, so that rule limited the practicality in the first place.

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