CDA Puts Spotlight on Government Way Stoplights
At Monday's Coeur d'Alene General Services/Public Works Commission meeting, the City Engineering Department brought forth a request to pay Welch Comer Engineers $45,000 for approval to start the preliminary design to upgrade the Government Way corridor signals and make ADA improvements. This will be the project's Phase I that will span over the next year (if approved).
Although the Engineering Department is asking for $45,000 to come from the city, they are looking at a strategic initiatives grant funding opportunity through the Local Highway Technical Assistance Counsel for up to $10 million that can be used for projects like this. This grant does not require the city to match contribution and the project does not have to be fully designed to get this money. The project does, however, become more desirable to the Assistance Counsel with the more it is bid-ready. The closer the project is to start, the more likely the Assistance Counsel is to grant funding.
Coeur d'Alene would like to coordinate the stoplights between Harrison Ave. to Prairie Ave and has had that project on their list for many years. Along with coordinating the stoplights, the engineering department will also be including any pedestrian ramps that do not meet ADA compliance and they believe they can get it all done with this grant money.
There will be some hiccups, however, with the final project: only the north/south signal lights are operated by the city. The east/west stoplights are operated by the Idaho Transportation Department and, as with all government-run items, they don't work well together.
This [project] will help with the North/South direction. For East/West to occur, it will take a sort of Traffic Management Center or something like that because our signals and [Idaho Transportation Department] signals don't talk to each other without some sort of moderator in between there to translate.
-Chris Bosley, CDA City Engineer
Ironically, the Traffic Management Center topic will be on this week's Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization agenda, with that group slated to meet on Thursday at 1:30pm.
Ultimately, Coeur d'Alene will be asking for $5-6 million in grants from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Counsel. Funding is awarded in September.
The CDA General Services/Public Works Commission approved the Welch Comer Engineers contract and it will be added to the next CDA City Council meeting for final discussion.