A busy street in Meridian is nearly done getting widened, but a 2-mile segment of the road will stay narrow for at least another year.
The Idaho Department of Transportation is in the final stages of a project to widen two miles of Chinden Blvd. between Linder Rd. and Locust Grove Rd. to make way for additional traffic a new Winco will bring to the area. However, due to ongoing negotiations over right of way, ITD will have to leave the section from Meridian Road to Locust Grove at one lane in each direction until construction can begin in 2022.
ITD spokesperson Jake Melder would not name the party the state is still negotiating with to build the final stretch widened road. He said these types of negotiations can be “pretty involved” so he did not want to name a specific timeline for the project to be completed, but he said ITD hopes to start prep work for the widening this fall.
“I understand the current consternation,” he said. “We are working to diligently get that completed as soon as possible.”
This three-quarters of a mile stretch of Chinden will be the only portion of the east-west thoroughfare with only one lane in each direction between Highway 16 to the west and Eagle Road to the east. The other portions of the widened road opened at the end of 2020.
The project to widen the road between Linder and Locust Grove is being paid for by a public-private partnership between ITD and Winco. The program, called the sales tax anticipation revenue (STAR), allows roads to be widened by the developer up front, who is then later reimbursed from sales tax revenue generated by the development.
This type of arrangement was also used by Costco further west on Chinden Boulevard and the Village at Meridian.