Note: This article was updated with correct time line information on Sept. 1, 2015.

Road construction on the state’s second busiest interchange at Meridian Road and Interstate 84 starts in April of 2014 and will run through late 2015.

The bridge’s daily traffic count of 128,000 has increased eightfold since 1965 when it was built.

“Any bridge when it’s about 50, we’d like to replace that,” Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Reed Hollinshead said.

Local feedback has been sparsed, Meridian Planning Department Planning Manager Caleb Hood said. Locals who speak out see the need for improvements — the interchange has pot holes and no sidewalks or bike lanes — but they’re not excited about more road construction so soon after North Meridian Road re-opens downtown.

The bridge will remain open during construction with limited access, and ITD will work to minimize inconvenience to drivers, Hollinshead said.

The new interchange will have sidewalks, bicycle lanes and more efficient traffic flow, he said.

Meridian’s Interchange Task Force has worked closely with ITD to offer input on design. The city’s top priority was pedestrian and cyclist safety, Hood said, but the appearance of the interchange is also important. The Task Force decided on a theme inspired by the Snake River and Birds of Prey Conservation area.

“It leads to our downtown, everyone’s going to see this, so it does need to be attractive and look like we care (and) invest something,” Hood said. “But we’re not trying to go over the top.”

The state will pay for the basics, but extra art and landscape elements will fall to the city’s general fund, pending City Council’s approval. The task force is working with ITD to reach a final design plan and a budget proposal.

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