by Andrew Crisp
Ahead of a Thursday, May 24, groundbreaking in Eagle, members of a new group have organized to petition development of State Highway 16.
The Central Valley Expressway Coalition hopes to urge lawmakers and elected officials to develop Highway 16 into the Central Valley Expressway, a major roadway running north-south, connecting Interstate 84 to Meridian, Chinden Boulevard, State Street and ultimately the city of Emmett.
Members of the CVEC have organized to petition city, county and state transportation departments to develop the route as a transportation corridor, calling the expressway an economic driver and a means of alleviating valley traffic congestion.
The group suggests securing funding through the GARVEE bond system, with costs between $500 million and $800 million.
On their website, the group cites Dr. John Church of Idaho Economics, who estimates the Central Valley Expressway could bring $1.9 billion in new revenue to the State over 30 years.
Currently, State Highway 16 extends from Emmett to State Highway 44, which becomes State Street as it cuts through Ada County. According to this group, the Idaho Transportation Department has plans to develop the road and extend it over the Boise River to reach I-84, but has yet to secure funding to complete the project.
Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Boise Republican Sen. Chuck Winder, ITD Director Jerry Whitehead and CVEC Chairwoman Mary May will break ground on the first phase of the project in Eagle, off Moon Valley Road, on Thursday.