POCATELLO – Local, county and state officials met Friday to celebrate the coming together of two communities. A new bridge will close the gap between Chubbuck and Pocatello.
“Good things spring from wherever we cross roads and this will be the case here,” Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke says.
That crossing of roads is the new Northgate Interchange. The project provides a new entrance to northeast Pocatello and adjacent Chubbuck. It represents an investment of roughly $31 million, including connecting roads and infrastructure.
The project is the result of a unique public-private partnership, the first of its kind in Idaho.
“It has been a great example to the state, quite frankly, on how you can make a public-private partnership work,” Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad says.
Multiple local government agencies and companies worked together to complete the project that is decades in the making.
Farhana Hibbert, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, says (reading a letter from Senator Crapo), “We started this project in 1994 and are glad to see it to completion.”
The completion of the interchange is 15 years ahead of schedule.
“At 25,000 cars a day, that’s nine million vehicle trips per year. That creates a lot of value,” Millennial Development Partners LLC’s Buck Swaney says.
With that many trips, the cities are making some changes to the nearby streets to make sure they’re accommodating to the new traffic flow, including a temporary stoplight on Yellowstone Avenue and New Day Parkway in Chubbuck and a stop sign at the intersection of Olympus Avenue and East Chubbuck Road in Pocatello.
The two cities plan to continue working together long after this project.
“If we will work together, there will be success,” says Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England. “We’re going to see success like we’ve never seen before and it’s going to happen.”
“Anytime you work together you’re going to be better off, and I’m excited about the opportunities that we now have to work together,” Mayor Blad says.
There is still some work to be done on the project, but the bridge is open for vehicular use.
This story was first published by KPVI. It is used here with permission.