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A Quicker Commute: Three Cities River Crossing

By Chelsea Chambers

The commute from Boise to Eagle is no small feat, especially around 5 p.m. Or 8 a.m… Or lunch time… As more and more people move to the Gem State, our daily driving times begin to extend, albeit a lot more quickly than we may have originally anticipated.

With more drivers on the road, our streets are being stretched beyond their limits. Fortunately, people like Edward Sloan, retired Civil engineer and project manager, have plans to help ease the flow of traffic and keep the commuters moving.

Sloan and his wife Sue have been living in Eagle for 35 years. They, along with their four sons and ten grandchildren, have created quite the life for themselves in Eagle, Idaho. Sloan’s background in civil engineering, security, and travel has given him a broad insight on issues like transportation, and so Sloan has been pressing forward to help bring life back into a historic project to improve traffic flow—for not only Eagle, but Garden City and Boise as well.

The idea for the Three Cities River Crossing project first came about in the 1960s and was introduced by Ada County. The concept was to create an additional intersection from Chinden to State Street, between Eagle Road and Glenwood. As we have all experienced, sometimes it’s a roll of the dice which route is the best to take, and sometimes—it’s neither.

But road construction is no easy task, especially when the price tag for a road of this magnitude could be incredibly high.

Nichoel Baird Spencer has worked with the City of Eagle’s planning department for over 16 years and is glad to see life brought back into this project. “Mr. Sloan has been having conversations with ACHD and the state,” and in doing so, has established a new momentum to get this project the attention it needs. “The City of Eagle thinks this is a really important project. Anything that creates more than a 20% decrease in traffic on Eagle Road and Glenwood is something worth considering,” Baird Spencer explained.

And while a 20% decrease in traffic on Eagle Road sounds like a dream, the potential roadway is still far in the distance. Feasibility studies need to be conducted, along with environmental impact studies and traffic flow examinations. Baird Spencer hopes that these studies can begin in the 2020-2021 fiscal year through the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).

“The environmental impact studies that were done years ago didn’t show too much strain on the landscape. And once the initial disruption occurs, there it is not anticipated to continued impact to areas at the end of Eagle Island, unlike the on-going gravel extraction” said Baird Spencer.

If all goes well with the studies, the process of securing funding can begin, but first the location of the connection between Chinden and State Street would need to be established, likely on either Cloverdale or Five Mile.

For more information about the project, visit CityofEagle.org.

Online version only:

Click here to read a memo about the project from City Council.

Click here to read ACHD’s project page about Three Cities River Crossing.

Click here to read additional documents about the project