BOISE -- More than $6 million in roadway improvements are slated to happen on Bogus Basin Road over the next few years. That's according to a plan released by the Ada County Highway District that promises a safer roadway when it's done.
There's a good reason for the plan: during peak season, nearly 5,000 vehicles a day make the 15-mile journey up Bogus Basin Road.
That qualifies this winding roadway as one of the busiest mountain highways in the state. It's also why the drive here can be more dangerous than the skiing and snowboarding at the top.
Between 1997 and 2012, the Ada County Highway District says 505 accidents were reported on the mountain road. More than half of those accidents involved drivers traveling at speeds too fast for the conditions. Three people have died.
Alan Moore is Bogus Basin's operations manager. He supports the county's plan to pump approximately $6.5 million into fixing the road over the next few years.
"You know when I drive up the road, I oftentimes see people that are driving too fast for the conditions," Moore told KTVB, adding that he always recommends people slow down during the roughly 45-minute trip from bottom to top.
Officials with the Ada County Highway District also recognize that drivers simply go way too fast. They say the planned improvements should help reduce the dangers these problem drivers create for themselves by making the roadway easier to navigate.
Here's the basics:
ACHD plans to resurface and seal the roadway in three phases starting in the summer of 2014
- Workers will improve slow-vehicle turnouts
- Install and fix curbs, guard rails, and barriers
- Install more signs
- Fix drainage problems
- Replace crumbling asphalt
- Work will be done to improve the road grade in sections
Nicole Pineda is a public relations specialist for ACHD. She says while the road will never be four-lane superhighway, the changes should help drivers be safer.
"We're going to do everything we can to improve the quality of the road and the safety of the road," Pineda said.
Here's a timeline
- The first phase of the project will start at the bottom of Bogus Basin Road and end at Curling Drive, near the intersection of Hill Road. ACHD hasn't yet released the cost for this phase.
- The second phase will extend from mile 3 to mile 9, cost the county more than $200,000 and begin in 2015. ACHD expects to receive a $2.9 million federal grant to pay for the majority of the construction.
- Roughly $3 million in funding is still being secured for the third phase, which would extend to the Bogus Basin Resort parking lot.