Moscow begins plan to reduce traffic

West A street project went over budget by about $1 million



The $4.4 million project would decrease traffic on West A street. It would require the replacement of sewer, water, gas and storm drain lines.

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

The city of Moscow’s project to lessen the congestion of West A Street is expected to begin in mid-spring of 2020 after three decades of planning.

Jen Pfiffner, assistant city supervisor for the city of Moscow, said the project cost was expected to be $3.4 million, but there was a $1 million increase due to a bid, which the city of Moscow didn’t put out to the public.

The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) members put a package together that has information about the bid process. Contractors and companies interested in the project will reply to the bid and let the city know what the estimated cost might be, Pfiffner said.

Tyler Palmer, acting public works director for the city of Moscow, said there is rapid inflation in construction costs around the country, and some driven by the tariffs were reasons why the project went over budget.

City of Moscow officials found that they needed to build a road to better handle the volume of traffic, she said.

Palmer said the project also aims to enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists.

Pfiffner said the majority of the funding comes from ITD and LHTAC federal funding administered by Idaho.

Palmer said additional funds from the pavement management program were used for the project. Some money identified in the sewer capital budget was also used for the project.

“Multiple reviews to find cost savings and the package that was put out was about as bare bones as they can get and still achieve the goals of the project,” Palmer said.

He said the other aspect that drove up the costs of West A Street is the narrow corridor. Sewer, water, gas, storm drain lines and moving electric lines will be replaced.

Information concerning ways that the city will make up for the cost of the project going over budget will be in the council meeting on Sept. 16. In the meeting, council members will hold a presentation of what the project is and the alternatives for funding that they had not anticipated.