Coalition Prefers Central U.S. Highway 95 Reroute

Concerned community members review DEIS and tour the highway site.

The Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition held a forum and field trip on the U.S. Highway 95 Thorncreek Road to Moscow realignment project on Saturday, January 19.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) released a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) with three realignment options earlier this month.  The department stated the eastern route – E-2 – as their preferred alternative.

The coalition took issue with ITD’s E-2 proposal, which would involve constructing a bridge over Eid Road and impacting remnant Palouse prairie land.

The main purpose of the realignment would be to improve the safety and travel time on the stretch of highway. Continue reading

E-2 Is Not the Safest Route

Mary and Steve Ullrich, Moscow

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 1/21/13

In response to Wayne Olson’s letter damning the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition concerning safety and delay of the U.S. 95 realignment (Daily News, January 16): We of the PRDC sincerely desire a safe Highway 95, as does everyone.

Unfortunately, ITD did nothing to improve safety of the current highway in the interim, not even lowering the speed limit from 60 mph. Three safe alternatives were studied by ITD. Any of these will provide a safer four-lane highway and are deemed “acceptable” to ITD.

According to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, two alternatives, Eastern-2 and Central-3 have similar construction costs, distances (within 0.09 mile) and projected injury/fatal crashes.

The crash projections do not take weather into account, yet ITD reported that 57 percent of the accidents on Highway 95 were weather related. The minimal weather study is flawed; conducted January-May 2005, one of the mildest winters ever. Continue reading

Big Questions for U.S. Highway 95

Victoria Seever, Moscow

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 1/21/13

I reviewed a good chunk of the Highway 95 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the three alternate routes. On paper, it looked to me like one orange and two apples with E2 displacing fewer residences and businesses, a huge consideration in my opinion. Why not go with the Idaho Transportation Department’s preferred E2 route? Answers to my nagging questions may be in the less conspicuous science reports and ITD’s agendas. To learn more, I attended a January 19 forum and field tour. Seeing the actual east route was a mountain of information.

All three routes satisfy safety concerns. We can speak out, repeatedly submit testimony, and change our opinions as needed before public comment ends Feb. 23. I would like to tour the central C3 and west W4 routes. The east route is not looking so good to me now. A few E2 issues follow.

Near and on Paradise Ridge, it was considerably colder, windier and snowier than in town. Freezing fog and drifting snow was woefully neglected in the study. Trucks will be broad-sided by wind adding to road hazards. Distance wise, the east route is about 10 seconds shorter than the Central route? Continue reading

ITD to Hold Public Hearing Regarding Thorncreek Road to Moscow Project

The Idaho Transportation Department invites the public to comment on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) at its public hearing that presents alternatives to improve U.S. Highway 95 between Thorncreek Road and the city of Moscow.  The hearing will be from 2:00 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, January 23, at the Best Western Plus University Inn, 1516 West Pullman Road.  The public can also view more information at or visit the Moscow Chamber to review a copy of the DEIS and pick up a free informational DVD and brochure.