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$1.1M in roadwork being done in East Side Highway District

| June 17, 2024 1:06 AM

The East Side Highway District is paving 4 miles of deteriorated roads near the east side of Coeur d'Alene.  

Roads included are Hill, Galena, Stowe, French Gulch, Fernan Hill and Yellowstone Trail with a total cost of $1.1 million.  

"We were able to do the preparation work ourselves, which resulted in attractive bids and is allowing us to pave more roads than originally planned," wrote Ben Weymouth, ESHD director.

Poe Asphalt Paving was awarded the bid and is installing the asphalt paving. The majority of these roads are receiving an overlay of the existing pavement, which will greatly extend the useful life of the existing asphalt, Weymouth said.

"A portion of Fernan Hill Road was literally falling apart and could not be paved without first addressing the supporting materials under the road," Weymouth wrote. 

The existing roadway was ground up and mixed with cement to stabilize and provide structural strength, and will be paved, resulting in an all-new road. 

Compared to excavating and hauling in gravel, using a cement-treated base was both substantially cheaper and much faster, resulting in less disruption for the public, especially local residents, Weymouth wrote. 

Work is proceeding thanks to funding from the state supported by Gov. Brad Little and legislators in North Idaho.  

Budgetary constraints have historically restricted the district's maintenance activities to patching and spot repairs to keep the roadway functional, Weymouth wrote. 

"For example, our annual revenue was just over $3 million for 242 miles of roads, and those numbers mean we deferred maintenance every year," he wrote. "When meaningful maintenance is deferred, the roadway will eventually fail and replacement costs are about 15 times the cost of regular maintenance."

The additional funding from the state is another $965,000 that the district can use for major projects.