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Commuter Alert: Gowen Road interchange blasting to end tonight – three weeks early

Commuter Alert: Gowen Road interchange blasting to end tonight – three weeks early

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Aug 11, 2014

Enough rock to bury two football fields with 15 feet of material -- that's how much rock has been blasted from the Gowen Road Interchange area this summer by Idaho Transportation Department crews. Enough, in fact, that blasting at Gowen will end nearly three weeks ahead of schedule, according to the ITD.

The last blast of the summer is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, August 11th.

The Idaho Transportation Department says it has removed 56,000 tons of the hard, basalt rock surrounding the interchange this summer. ITD used 25,000 pounds of explosives to fill 4,000 holes during the summer blasting. Each blast lasted approximately 1.5 seconds, but preparation and cleanup took nearly 24 hours.

During the final summer blast Monday night, all traffic will be detoured off I-84 at the Broadway and Eisenman interchanges and onto Federal Way at 7 p.m.Gowen Road will be closed. All roads will re-open by 11 p.m., but lanes will be restricted on Gowen Road until 5 a.m.

“We want to thank the drivers and local businesses in this area who have been patient during many evenings of detours,” said Project Coordinator Merrill Sharp.

“It’s very challenging to complete this amount of blasting in a busy urban area. We have another round to do in the spring, but the majority of blasting is now behind us,” he added.

The remaining blasting will be scheduled next spring after the westbound I-84 bridge is demolished.

Sharp attributed the early finish to coordination between ITD, the Ada County Highway District, contractor and the outside blasting consultant.

“Lane restrictions and speed-limit reductions will continue in the project area this summer. Gowen Road will be restricted to one lane at night this month during work on the new interchange bridge. The eastbound on-ramp at the interchange is closed until later this month,” said ITD spokesman Reed Hollinshead.

The interchange reconstruction project is expected to be completed in late 2015.

Knife River Corporation, of Boise, is the contractor on the $27 million project.