FORT HALL, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Shoshone Bannock Tribes and Idaho Transportation Department are teaming up to build a new bridge on I-15 at the Fort Hall Interchange. They are holding a community presentation at the Shoshone Bannock Casino tonight to unveil their final draft.
The bridge at Exit 80, at the Fort Hall interchange, is nearly 60 years old. It’s a single lane in both directions, connecting Simplot and Ross Fork roads. It’s also the main exit to get to the Shoshone Bannock Casino Hotel.
“This is going to be a major project for us and ITD,” Anthony Broncho, transportation director for the Shoshone Bannock Tribes said.
There are currently no sidewalks over the bridge and the old railings make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. However, ITD and the Shoshone Bannock hope to change that. Today, they are holding an open house to give the public an opportunity to review their final design.
“This is the second part of the open house,” Broncho said. “The conceptual part of the first one. So, we’re kinda’ wrapping everything up because 2022 is when they plan on starting to work on it.”
Project managers are proposing two lanes in either direction with a center lane on the bridge over I-15, longer and wider interchange ramps and a 6-foot shoulder for safer pedestrian and bicycle crossing. As well as artwork that celebrates the history of the Shoshone Bannock tribes.
“It’s not about us, it’s about the community and what they want,” Broncho said. “It’s going to be unique and really, again, it’s going to identify the tribes.”
The project will be approximately $14 million which is being made possible by grants from the federal highway administration as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
To see ITD's current designs, visit their website.