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The Linder Village proposal has raised some concern about traffic on Chinden Boulevard (Highway 20/26), a corridor managed by the Idaho Transportation Department. ITD spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez answered the following questions:

Meridian Press: People are wondering if Highway 20/26 would have to be widened on the same timeline as Linder Village construction, or if those road improvements are years out. Do you know the answer to that?

ITD: Based on the traffic impact study submitted by the developer, improvements including widening would need to be completed prior to development occupancy.

Meridian Press: David McKinney with DMG Real Estate Partners said his company has discussed entering a STAR agreement with ITD and would help fund road improvements. What road improvements is DMG proposing to pay for, and are there any financial estimates for DMG’s contributions?

ITD: As part of the STAR (Sales Tax Anticipation Revenue) agreement proposal discussion with ITD, DMG has proposed widening from Locust Grove to Linder. This is still an ongoing conversation at this time. The STAR program reimburses costs through sales tax generated by the development. Our planning level estimate for widening this segment is approximately $9.3 million. Signals and other improvements needed by the development are not included in this cost.

Meridian Press: At this point, without Linder Village, what is ITD’s timeline for widening Highway 20/26 between Locust Grove and Linder roads, and is funding available?

ITD: Initial widening of 20/26 from Eagle to Locust Grove will begin in 2021. Locust Grove to Linder is programmed to begin in 2022. (The widening would bring Highway 20/26 up to two travel lanes in each direction with a turn lane. Funding has been programmed for both projects.)

Meridian Press: Also discussed at the Linder Village public hearing was a potential traffic light at Bergman Way on Chinden Boulevard. Has ITD approved this? Could you address concerns that if Chinden Boulevard has too many traffic lights and access points, it won’t be effective as a regional expressway?

ITD: A signal at Bergman has been allowed with conditions. It is designed to work in conjunction with a Continuous Flow Intersection that will eventually be constructed at Linder and Chinden to improve flow for the intersection and corridor. In an effort to enhance safety and preserve mobility along 20/26, ITD is also incorporating recommendations from its 20/26 corridor study, which serves as a blueprint for what the corridor will look like at full build out.

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