MERIDIAN - The Idaho Transportation Department has closed down the left turn lane from Eagle Road onto Village Drive. ITD cites safety reasons for the closure.
So far this year, there's been 24 vehicle crashes at the intersection, up from 12 just three years ago.
"The crashes that we are seeing at this location are angle-turning crashes or head-on crashes," said ITD spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez.
Gonzalez says many of those crashes are due to poor visibility because those turning left must cross three lanes of traffic.
"In this case this access point was determined to experience a high number of crashes, again going back to safety while maintaining mobility on the corridor, the decision was made to restrict access at this one access point," Gonzalez said. "There are other access points into The Village."
The closure is not going unnoticed, executives at The Village say anytime you take away an entrance it's going to have an impact.
"We need to have the access into the project. We developed this project and relied on having the access at that point coming into the shopping center," said The Village general manager Hugh Crawford.
The Village's original plan included a traffic signal at that intersection, which Crawford says they would still like to see.
"We knew at some point a signal was going to be necessary and we've been lobbying ITD for some time to make that happen as we've seen traffic increase," Crawford said.
A new traffic signal can range anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000. Crawford says that money would come from The Village's property developer, Centercal.
"Cars would only see it northbound on Eagle Road, while the left handing turning at Fairview synchronizes with the left hand turn at Village Drive, so it will not stop traffic going north on Eagle," Crawford said.
The Village is also planning to expand towards Eagle Road, which is why they want that access back open sooner rather than later.
"Our goal is to have that, realistic timing, is to have that by spring of 2017," Crawford said.
The Idaho Transportation Department has been meeting with The Village, the City of Meridian, and the Meridian Police Department. They plan to continue those talks and hopefully work out a situation that benefits everyone.
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