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Parking crunch causes concern for fair organizers

Parking crunch causes concern for fair organizers

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - Traffic delays and a parking crunch are what had fair organizers worried early Friday. Eastern Idaho Fair Manager Brandon Bird said if construction on Ash Road wasn't finished in time parking would be a problem, but late Friday, Blackfoot's Street Department opened the road. The city said it closed it for about two months to fix potholes.

"Parking is a difficult thing, bringing 30,000 people to the community on busy days. We have two trams that move in and out of downtown Blackfoot to assist people in making their parking and fairgoing experience pleasurable, so Ash Road being done and completed is very important to us," Bird said.

At one point, organizers were worried about Mother Nature delaying construction even further.  

"Really, the only delay we had was a couple of weeks ago when we had the downpour. It delayed us a couple of days, but other than that, it was very smooth," said Lavar Davidson, lead operator at the Street Department.

Bird said now the focus shifts to another issue.

"We are trying each year to work with the city and purchase property that can expand and grow the parking opportunities for people," he said.  

This year there will be more handicapped parking spots near gate entrances and on Park Street.

"We have grown the number of parking spots by three or four, which is a total of 20 new spots in the last four years," Bird said.

The fair starts Aug. 30 and runs through Sept. 6.

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