Crews are working in bitter temperatures Wednesday to make some significant changes—some short-term, some long-term—in downtown Boise.
One of the biggest reasons for organizers with the Idaho New Year's Commission to move their New Year's Eve Idaho Potato Drop from Eighth and Main streets to the front of the Idaho Statehouse was their ability to set up earlier, and street closures have already begun.
The Ada County Highway District on Wednesday began closing Jefferson Street (from Sixth to Eighth streets) and Capitol Boulevard (between Bannock and Jefferson streets). On Thursday, Dec. 31, ACHD will close Bannock (between Sixth and Eighth streets) and Capitol Boulevard (between Idaho and Bannock streets).
"That's where we want to be every year. Once we saw the Capitol was great, we had the benefit of using Capitol Park," Idaho New Year's Commission founder and CEO Dylan Cline told Boise Weekly. "Now we're able to throw in a nice fireworks show."
Music on the event's main stage gets under way at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve (five different bands will perform). Food trucks will be lined up on Bannock Street, a beer garden will be at the corner of Bannock and Capitol Boulevard and vendors will hawk their wares on Capitol.
Potato Drop organizers have an arrangement with Uber to line up drivers on Sixth Street between Jefferson and Bannock streets. Portable restrooms will be set up at the corners of Jefferson and Sixth streets, and Bannock and Eighth streets.
A complete Idaho Potato Drop schedule and event map is inside today's edition of Boise Weekly.
Meanwhile, crews have started squeezing down some lanes on the Broadway Bridge in Boise ahead of a complete shutdown of the span on Monday, Jan. 4. That's when the Idaho Transportation Department will begin a nine-month replacement of the 50-year-old structure, which sees about 24,500 cars pass over each day.
The $20.2 million project will see the old bridge replaced by a six-lane span with new bike lanes, better access to the Boise Greenbelt and 10-foot-wide sidewalks.