BOISE -- The Idaho Transportation Department is taking the first step this week toward gathering input on a project to replace the Broadway Bridge that spans the Boise River.
ITD wants to replace the 55-year-old bridge to better accommodate cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. Inspections have identified small cracks and signs of wear on the bridge.
The transportation department says Broadway Avenue is one of the busiest roads in the area, especially during community and Boise State University events.
"Safety and public involvement are our two top priorities during this project," said Wade Christiansen, the project manager. "The bridge is part of a vibrant community of local businesses, Greenbelt users, Boise State University and the St. Luke's Regional Medical Center. We will engage the community for feedback and ideas on how to best involve them throughout design and construction."
In addition to replacing the outdated structure, potential improvements include widening Broadway Avenue between Myrtle Street and University Avenue, and repaving Broadway Avenue between University Avenue and Front Street.
ITD is holding meetings this week with Boise City staff, nearby businesses and community organizations to gather input and concerns. Public meeting will be held later this year.
The total cost to replace the Broadway Bridge is around $16 million. The finished bridge will have a 75-year life span.
Construction is expected to start in late 2014.