Monday, April 15, 2024

Sheriff, Commissioner remind residents to follow rules throughout construction zones

Local Editor | April 2, 2024 1:00 AM

It may only be the second day of April, but Shoshone County is already in the throes of road construction season and much to their chagrin, many drivers have noticed that the speed limits in these work zones have been reduced to 55 miles per hour. 

Last year, during the peak of the work, Shoshone County Commissioner Tracy Casady petitioned the Idaho Transportation Department to reduce the speeds in these zones from 65 to 55 mph due to a large number of accidents and close calls in the zones. 

After receiving more than 100 calls from concerned residents last year, Shoshone County Sheriff Holly Lindsey also supported these changes and continues to do so. 

Calls have already come in this year and Lindsey is urging drivers to plan for the extra drive times and to follow the adjusted highway rules.

“Construction is both a curse and a blessing for us,” Lindsey said. “We need it to keep the roads safe, and we hate it because it's a pain to deal with. Last year, the SCSO responded to several devastating crashes, near misses of construction workers, and multiple reports of people driving way too fast, almost causing crashes. Our office will do our part to promote safety in those zones, but we need your help. I encourage everyone to follow the posted speed limits, be alert for construction workers, and be ready to react to confused drivers. Working together is going to help us all stay safe this summer.” 

Three major projects are set to begin in the coming weeks throughout the Silver Valley. 

These projects include rehabbing the bridge deck on I-90 over Pine Creek near Pinehurst, completing the final concrete overlays on the eastbound lanes of the Division Street and Elizabeth Park overpasses, and the reconstruction and paving of several miles of westbound highway between Osburn and Wallace.  

“I am glad to see the speed limit posted at 55 as ITD promised, and I see pilot cars, more signage, and the presence of ISP,” Casady said. “Please adhere to the speed for the safety of the workers and other drivers. We all complain when the roads are bad, yet when there is an opportunity to improve them, there is a low intolerance for the inconvenience. Slowing down through these areas of work zones will still get you where you need to be safely.”