By Laura Colvin
Kuna Melba News editor
Roadway improvements are coming to Kuna and the surrounding area, but not coming fast.
While many enhancements and upgrades are in the works, most won’t actually come to fruition for a number of years – some projects are planned as far out as 2035.
Still, Kuna residents can expect to see crews out in a number of spots in the months ahead. Those include:
“This will benefit the students at Hubbard elementary,” said ACHD spokesman Craig Quintana, noting Safe Routes to School projects are funded by vehicle registration fees, a measure approved by voters in Nov. 2008. The project isn’t on the ACHD’s 90 day bid list, so there’s currently no time frame, but it will get underway in FY 2013.
According to the FY 2013 adopted budget, the agency has $810,000 earmarked for the project.
“We’ve been keeping the old one going,” Quintana said. “It just needs to come out.” Replacement will cost about $1.15 million.
Plans include a detailed analysis to solidify estimates, determine right of way requirements and funding options, and consideration of inclusion of the project in a capital investment plan.
“Does it make sense to do it? That’s the first question they’ll be looking to answer,” said Quintana. “And and if it does, what’s the plan of attack in getting that kind of money together?”
The study will cost about $60,000, he noted. The project itself, should it move forward, could run upward of $10 million, and any chance a bridge over the railroad has of progressing from the study phase to actual planning and building is likely to depend on whether or not any federal dollars come into play.
“There’s been some talk about another round of stimulus funds,” Quintana said. “This would be a really good candidate for that, but its all speculative at this point.”
Around town, residents, emergency responders and others have expressed growing frustration with the delays created by the train numerous times every day.
ACHD Commissioner Mitchell Jaurena said he’s had several conversations with Kuna City officials on the topic.
“It’s a very valid concern,” Jaurena said.
Currently, the concept is construction of a multi-lane roundabout and installation of curb, gutter, sidewalk, and bike lanes.
As planned, the project has an estimated total cost of about $1.7, but it’s dependent on study, public comment and federal funds.
“No dirt will be turned but it will be studied and we might do some some preliminary design work,” Quintana said. “It could end up being a roundabout, that’s the working concept going in, but that’s before the feasibility’s been looked at and before we’ve had any public involvement. It’s a bare bones concept, not a guarantee. The money in our budget is not to build anything. It’s for study.”
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