Two Million-Dollar Projects To Expand Roads

CHUBBUCK, Idaho - If you build it, they will come. It might be cinema logic, but Chubbuck Public Works Director Steven Smart hopes to make it city logic, too.

The Chubbuck City Council recently approved a $1.15 million construction project to create West Evans Lane, just across Yellowstone Avenue from East Evans Lane.

There is nothing in the space now; it is just an empty lot. But Chubbuck has imagined something big: A five-lane roadway where the city hopes businesses will pop up.

"Most people call them Big Box. For better or for worse, (the private developers who own the land) feel like they have some very good prospects on Big Box," Smart said.

The million dollars for construction are already budgeted for. It is paid for by tax increment money through the Chubbuck Development Authority. There is already one local business that wants to open up on the corner of Evans and Yellowstone. Smart could not say who, but he hopes taxes from potential new businesses will defray the cost of construction.

"(The project's) justification is economic development," he said.

West Evans Lane will turn south around several hundred yards to connect with West Burnside Road. Smart hopes it will be easier for businesses on Burnside to access Yellowstone. The new road will eventually run out one quarter mile to connect with Hawthorne Road. That will happen once the city gets more businesses to lock in to building there.

Just a little bit south of Evans at Hawthorne Road and West Quinn Road, Pocatello will start its own federally funded, million dollar traffic study.

"It's already over capacity. We receive complaints probably every week or every two weeks about this intersection," Pocatello City Engineer Deirdre Castillo said.

With All State opening just down the street and 500 new employees working there, traffic will only get worse. The goal is to make traffic flow more smoothly, but the traffic study will determine exactly how that is done. It could be accomplished with more turning lanes, a roundabout or a traffic light. The study will take three to four months and then construction will begin, Castillo said.

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