ITD board tours North Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

ITD board tours North Idaho

Ramsey Road near Cd'A Airport was topic of discussion

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 12:15 am

The Coeur d'Alene Airport and the city of Hayden are considering connecting Ramsey Road around or underneath the airport, airport Manager Greg Delavan said on Wednesday.

The item was one of several Delavan raised at a meeting with the Idaho Transportation Department board, which stopped by the airport on a tour of the Coeur d'Alene area.

"(The road connection) is important for the community to access the airport, and provides relief for (U.S.) 95," Delavan said.

He pointed out that with U.S. 95 often facing heavy traffic, many take the parallel Ramsey Road to save time.

But Ramsey "just ends" at the airport perimeter, he said, forcing drivers to take Wyoming Avenue to continue north on U.S. 95.

Preferable would be a continuing alternate route to the highway, Delavan said, achieved by connecting the ends of Ramsey on either side of the airport, separated by about a mile.

"It's a slow, poor intersection," he said of the Wyoming intersection with U.S. 95.

"To bring people to 95 and Wyoming is not a good idea."

Sometimes drivers just ignore the end of Ramsey and plow into the airport fence, Delavan also said before the meeting.

The last incident was two weeks ago, he said, when the driver took out the fence and got stuck in a dirt pile.

"There was significant alcohol involved," Delavan said, adding that the airport is insured to replace the fence.

Ramsey continues north to Highway 54, he said, after it picks up again past the airport.

Connie Krueger, Hayden's community and economic director, also said at the meeting that a large city area north of the airport is zoned for industrial and commercial development.

"What we're hoping is to provide access into the area," Krueger said.

Delavan said he considers the best connection to be under the airport.

"I know the reason is dollars," he said of why that might not be possible.

As for the cost to connect the road, Delavan said the entities "haven't got that far yet," but a state grant is allowing them to study the best route to connect the road.

Delavan brought the ITD board up to speed on other items, like the completion of the airport's master plan, and a new grant to rehabilitate Runway 1/19 and the Taxiway Delta.

The ITD board's tour on Wednesday also included a visit with the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce and dropping by project sites along U.S. 95.

Board Chair Jerry Whitehead said the tour was intended to give members perspective on the region's transportation.

The Boise resident applauded the Interstate 90, Beck Road interchange, eligible for the State Tax Anticipated Revenue legislation to provide transportation funding.

"We saw in action what the STAR legislation could do for us," Whitehead said.

He lauded other transportation projects in the area.

"North Idaho has done very well transportation wise, compared to the rest of the state," Whitehead said. "It's just difficult terrain to deal with."

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  • Old Hayden posted at 12:25 pm on Sun, Jul 22, 2012.

    Old Hayden Posts: 33

    Oh, great! Lisa Key is gone, but her culture lingers on...BUILD! BUILD! BUILD! Hayden needs to become a real city. Real cities have public safety services (police and fire departments,) public education (schools, colleges, neighborhood centers) social services, utility services (sanitation, water, power, sewer) and public works (streets, parks) to name a few. Hayden has no police force, no fire department, no school system, no sanitation, no water, no power, no sewer and no parks unless you live in a development! (Yes, I know other entities provide some of these services, but Hayden needs to step up and become a real city and provide what the current residents (and tax payers) want.)
    Changing Ramsey to accommodate drivers who want a fast north/south route instead of using US95 is just plain a bad idea. The mayor was upset when Strahorn was changed to one-way by his home, but he doesn't seem concerned with dividing the west half of Hayden in half at Ramsey - this area is already divided away from the mayor's "city" by US 95.

  • Haydenresident posted at 9:36 am on Sat, Jul 21, 2012.

    Haydenresident Posts: 14


  • Honoring Our Vets posted at 11:53 pm on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    Honoring Our Vets Posts: 18

    Come on guys, you're better than personal attacks like "Easy for Delevan to push for this when he drives home to his Daddy's Lakefront home/marina every evening" You sound like the radicals in Washington promoting a culture of envy. Debate the issue. Do not insult the man.

    This is the issue. Before the construction of Pappy Boyington Field, Ramsey Road was the longest straight road in North Idaho if not the state. An airport is a nice asset to a community but because of its large size it cuts off both north-south and east-west arterial highways and forces traffic to congest onto one choice, in our case US 95. The airport cut Ramsey Road in half. Greg Delavan is trying to rectify a bad situation and reconnect Ramsey to its former usefulness, we think a good idea.

    What many in our community do not remember and this might answer your concerns Justin, was that ITD once proposed what was called the Huetter Bypass, a 6 lane elevated freeway connecting I 90 up Huetter Road by way of the Union Pacific right -of-way to US 95 up in Athol. The cost to us taxpayers was estimated at 2 billion dollars and opened the Heutter Agricultural Corridor to commercial development. Is this what we want?

    Instead of paying 2 billion dollars, if we go under runway 1-19 or around the runway protection zone to the east, we can achieve north-south connectivity at a fraction of the cost. Personally I think a surface road would be cheaper and safer than a tunnel but let's investigate the matter unemotionally.

    Ramsey Road, as far as we are concerned, is a much quicker road to travel from Hayden to downtown Coeur d'Alene than US 95. The interchange at I 90 and Ramsey road is the best one in North Idaho. Lets use it to connect Hayden.

    Justin brings up interesting points but lets look at the rational thinking that went into improving the road infrastructure. The ITD, to its credit, is thinking 30+ years into the future. The improvements to US 95 are the products of that forward thinking. The reason there is a new traffic signal at Lancaster Road and US 95 is that Lancaster is the gateway to the new KTEC high school which opens in 2 months on the corner of Lancaster and Meyer Road and a future North Idaho College campus. Since 1992, we have experience 12 fatalities and countless maimings at that intersection. Did we want our sons and daughters making left turns going to school without a light? The community said no.

    Another benefit of connecting Ramsey Road past runway 1-19 is that students will be able to travel from the downtown NIC to the prairie campus without further congesting US 95. Connecting Ramsey has a lot of merits and deserves a study and public comment. The Veteran community applauds Greg Delavan, the Kootenai County Commissioners and the Airport Board for recognizing our heroes like Pappy Boyington and Vernon J. Baker with name recognition. As far as we are concerned, all new roads around the airport should bear the names of other Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

    Thank you Greg for taking a leadership role in tackling this issues.

  • aayupp posted at 10:12 pm on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    aayupp Posts: 317

    Sometimes drivers just ignore the end of Ramsey and plow into the airport fence, Delavan also said before the meeting.

    what yoiu expect for driving under the influence. iam sure glad i don't live in hayden anymore - having to deal with that POS 95 traffic is horrible so these birdes think that awful 95 traffic is really nice. oh brother.

  • Justin Cottrell posted at 7:55 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    Justin Cottrell Posts: 157

    This idea is just plain stupid, and seems to be driven by something else. For starters 95 near the airport was recently widened, so now it's overly full? I call baloney, 95 from 53 to Hayden Ave is never overly busy, even at peak times of the day. Besides this, they recently redid the Lancaster/ 95 connection with a new traffic light and more lanes to get into the industrial park.

    Truthfully how much traffic would a Ramsey multi-million dollar tunnel divert? I minute amount if any. Horrible idea.

  • rollingthunder posted at 6:35 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    rollingthunder Posts: 371

    Where did this Delavan come from, he should go back. What a waste of tax money this would be to tunnel under the airport. There must be something in the water there. This kind of project and Northern Lakes Fire going to run a tax over ride again when the voters said not only no but h##l no is a complete disregard for the citizens of the area.

  • Hayden Joe posted at 5:39 am on Thu, Jul 19, 2012.

    Hayden Joe Posts: 181

    More, "Build it and they will come."

    All Ramsey Rd Build out will bring is more opportunity to pillage the last remaining rural area of Hayden West of 95.

    The developers are licking their chops, just waiting for the taxpayers to foot the bill for their enhanced profits, while we get stuck with the increased traffic and infrastructure costs = taxes.

    Easy for Delevan to push for this when he drives home to his Daddy's Lakefront home/marina every evening.

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