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Iconic Boise business to be demolished for State Street expansion

An intersection expansion project on State Street aims to cut commuters time waiting at the intersection in half but the iconic Smoky Davis will be demolished to make room.

If crossing through the State Street and Veterans Memorial Parkway and 36th Street intersection is part of your morning or evening commute, you know traffic can be a bit of a nightmare.

The Ada County Highway District will soon begin its intersection expansion project in hopes of cutting down on commute time and making the area safer.

As part of the project, for east and westbound traffic on State Street, making a left turn at Veterans Memorial Parkway and 36th Street will soon be a thing in the past.

“It shifts all left turning vehicles further down the block, there will be a signalized little intersection there on Dewey and Arthur and that allows cars to turn back and then make a right,” explains ACHD spokeswoman Nicole DuBois.

This will allow for another lane in each direction to be added to State Street, make room for bicycle lanes at all four intersection approaches and add two signaled pedestrian crossings at Arthur and Dewey where many people jaywalk.

“The corridor was identified back in 2004 so plans have been in the works for quite awhile to address the entire State Street corridor,” said DuBois.

North and southbound traffic will still be able to make left turns at the intersection and an additional left lane will be added for drivers headed north on Veterans Memorial Parkway and 36th Street.

But to make room for the expansion, ACHD is acquiring 47 parcels of land to make this possible, including the demolition of Boise's iconic Smoky Davis on State and Arthur.

“Smoky Davis was started in 1953 by my grandfather and it was a custom smoking shop for wild game, chickens, whatever people brought in and it slowly grew to what it is today. My father took it over in 1970 and then in 1995 I took it over and officially purchased it in 1999,” said the shop’s president, Gary Davis.

Davis is still in negotiations with ACHD and is considering relocating.

“It's been there for 64 years, it’s going to be hard to duplicate exactly what it is but we will try our best,” said Davis.

Neighboring restaurant Zen Bento will also be gone.

Further east, the Viking Drive In will be spared but its sign will have to go, and State Street Auto Body down the road will be demolished.

“Because we’re going to widen that intersection significantly, so those properties would be impacted,” said DuBois.

Construction is slated to begin in January.

Davis says he plans to stay open until the end of December.

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