MERIDIAN -- A big change is coming to Interstate 84 near Meridian.

Starting next month, the Idaho Transportation Department will begin a 22-month project to replace the interchange at Meridian Road and Interstate 84.

The project will cost more than $50 million, including both the interchange rebuild and the pavement underneath. The money will come from GARVEE bonds.

The interchange was built back in 1965 and is now the second busiest one in the state.

ITD spokesman Reed Hollinshead says they're just trying to keep up with the growth.

When we built that interchange, almost 50 years ago, there were 10,000 vehicles a day on the interstate, he said. Now, that interchange itself services about 130,000 a day. Meridian is supposed to double in size over the next 20 years. So, we are just putting pieces in place to handle that growth.

Hollingshead says the new interchange will widen Meridian Road to three lanes in each direction over the interchange, and add another lane to I-84 under the interchange.

He says when it's done in 2016, it will look like the Ten Mile and Vista interchanges where a set of lights in the middle of the interchange controls the large flow of traffic.

Some of the nearby businesses will be affected, with this project cutting into the parking lots of places like JB's and WinCo. But Hollinshead says everyone is on board.

Also, the contractor, Concrete Placing Company of Boise, will try to do a lot of work overnight.

They'll either do an 8 to 5, or a 10 to 5 schedule overnight, so we get out of there and open it back up fully to traffic during the morning and evening commutes, and try to lessen any sort of impact we have, said Hollinshead.

If you are one of the thousands of people that driving this road daily, Hollinshead says you are just going to have to be patient, and understand that when it's all done, it will be worth it.

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