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A newly widened Olympus Drive will soon be open for motorists.
Thursday afternoon, crews will remove the “road closed” signs and allow drivers to make their way onto the four brand new lanes from Butte Street to Jerome Street. The expanded road is a quarter mile long and features a new multi-use path, sidewalks, and an improved stormwater drainage system.
“What crews have done is allow stormwater that would otherwise make its way to the Portneuf River to be redirected to the soccer fields,” said Mike Jaglowski, Public Works Director for the City of Pocatello. “The benefits to this are two-fold in that it helps improve the cleanliness of river by keeping the stormwater out and it will take less water to keep the soccer fields in good condition.”
Because the street straddles the boundary between the city and county, the project was a joint effort between the City of Pocatello and Bannock County; a pairing that worked out well for both groups.
“I’d like to thank our partners at Bannock County Road and Bridge,” said Jaglowski. “At every level, this project has gone about as smoothly as we could have hoped and that is thanks to the collaborative and congenial effort between our two entities.”
Bannock County and the City of Pocatello split the project cost, which was initially estimated at $265,000 in materials. Final invoices are still outstanding but the total cost will be available in the next several weeks. However, officials believe the project will be within budget.
“The street was built using the old roadway’s asphalt as the road base,” said Jaglowski. “Using recycled asphalt is stronger than a typical gravel base and also helps to keep costs down.”
The new street is an anticipated first step to widen Olympus that will extend to Chubbuck Road. A timeline for funding or construction of this second phase has not been determined.