VICTOR, Idaho - Forty Idaho Transportation Department highway construction projects will be underway in eastern Idaho in the coming year. Many involve resurfacing or repairs, but one town is getting its first traffic signal.
Thousands of cars pass through Victor every day during the busy summer season, and most have to go through the intersection of Highway 31 and Highway 33. To locals, those streets are Main and Center, respectively.
Main Street currently has stop signs while Center Street just has a pedestrian crosswalk. At the end of summer, it will be a full four-way traffic signal.
"It's great to see a stoplight here because, boy, you sit for like 10-15 minutes trying to go left," said Victor resident Gregory Stump.
While that may be an exaggeration, it currently takes 12 seconds to cross the street, once traffic actually stops.The time will be cut in half thanks to what's called a "bulb-out" on every corner.
"A bulb-out is basically concrete that goes into the traffic and what engineers call a pedestrian refuge," said Mayor Zachary Smith.
Smith hopes the upgrades will help grow business.
"We need to be more walkable. I feel like that will facilitate more businesses coming in to town, because the more people you stop in your town, and the more people who are walking around, the more vibrant it looks," said Smith.
Most local business owners said they see the long-term benefit of the signal, but many raised concerns about when the project will begin in August.
"The timing of when they are going to do it is a little questionable just because of our peak season," said Justin Gumm, a local business owner.
Smith said the project will begin sometime between Aug. 4-18, and those days were determined by the Idaho Transportation Department due to weather concerns.
There will also be sidewalks added around the current "downtown" area.
"From a business aspect, I am excited for the plans to actually develop from the stoplight down will add a nice feature to town," said Gumm.
ITD is paying for the project, but the City of Victor has set aside $200,000 to install water lines under Main Street while the asphalt is torn up.