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Northgate interchange construction increases by $4 million
The Idaho State Journal ^ | December 9, 2017 | Shelbie Harris

Posted on 01/04/2018 7:11:13 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The Northgate project that involves constructing an interchange on Interstate 15 north of Pocatello and is expected to trigger a landslide of development simultaneously took one step forward and another backward last week.

The Pocatello City Council unanimously approved the annexation of nearly 300 acres of land north of East Chubbuck Road on Thursday, but the Idaho Transportation Department also learned the construction cost of the interchange alone has increased by about $4 million.

There has been some speculation that the increased costs could negatively impact the project, but the ITD board is scheduled to meet on Thursday at its headquarters in Boise where it will consider a resolution that calls for ITD to cover the additional costs.

“The board understands the importance of this public-private partnership because of the precedent it sets for future partnerships of this sort across the state,” said Vince Trimboli, ITD communication manager. “There are other projects across the region that are really important from a safety standpoint and the board has to balance the needs of the economy versus the needs of safety. That’s what the board is going to look at.”

Trimboli said the initial resolution that ITD approved estimated the Northgate interchange project to cost $8.4 million. This cost was for the interchange construction alone and was shared by ITD contributing $5 million while the cities of Chubbuck and Pocatello and Bannock County contributed $3.4 million collectively.

But an engineering study conducted in October determined that the type of interchange initially planned would not have adequately served the traffic and planned development surrounding the interchange.

A different type of interchange with longer ramps and the addition of signal lights, though unforeseen, put the total construction cost of the interchange project at $12.5 million.

The resolution before the board on Thursday calls for ITD to cover the additional $4 million up front. The Bannock Transportation Policy Organization would then repay ITD approximately $2.65 million over three years and the remaining $1.35 million would be funded by ITD delaying a construction project at Alameda Road and Yellowstone Avenue set for fiscal year 2019.

ITD agreed to support the project in June, saying it would facilitate the interchange construction located about three-quarters of a mile north of the Chubbuck Road I-15 overpass. The cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck then plan to build connecting roads from Olympus Drive and Siphon Road, respectively, to the interchange.

The overall transportation system opens hundreds of acres for development that Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad has said he expects will dramatically increase the Pocatello area’s population and greatly improve the local economy.

Buck Swany of Millennial Development, one of the two private development groups involved in developing land surrounding the interchange, said the Northgate community development model is a new urbanism design concept.

The first phase of construction will consist of a new retail shopping center, initial construction of a 1 million-square-foot information technology park and about 500 to 1,000 residential units.

Swany has said that Millennial Development, and the private partnership that includes Portneuf Development, has plans to construct what amounts to a community around the new interchange that will integrate opportunities to live, work and play.

During Thursday’s city council meeting, several members of the community said they were uncommitted to the annexation of the land because of reservations regarding the potential impact a large development like Northgate could have on the surrounding areas.

Not one person spoke in opposition to the annexation and several others spoke in favor of resolution.

Some testimony covered a myriad of topics ranging from the amount of noise and light pollution that a new tech park might impose on nearby neighborhoods, to the necessity to ensure that the city of Pocatello can handle the additional water and sewage use.

While it’s unclear what lies in store for the financial aspect of funding the actual interchange, Swany ensured citizens that Millennial Development has spent countless hours with city personnel over the past three years studying this project. He said he’s confident the city can handle the extra utilities usage and that all county residents will benefit from an increased economy.

“We’ve done an incredible amount of work already,” Swany said. “But this will be something that we manage for many, many years to come.”

He continued, “These couple hundred acres is in a key place that creates a real solution to a deep, serious circulation issue in the county. Northgate can become something that can benefit and support a good quality lifestyle for this generation and future generations to come.”

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Idaho
KEYWORDS: chubbuck; construction; costs; development; funding; growth; i15; idaho; infrastructure; northgate; pocatello; transportation
Full title:

Northgate interchange construction increases by $4 million, Pocatello City Council annexes 300 acres

1 posted on 01/04/2018 7:11:13 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Looks like the Pocatello “developer” cabal gots themselves a cash-cow to milk.

Moooo along little tax-dogies.

2 posted on 01/04/2018 7:49:27 AM PST by HLPhat ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS" -- Government with any other purpose is not American.)
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To: HLPhat
Yeah, an interchange to nowhere, a development that will never attract the necessary occupants, the taxpayer holding the bag, and Satterfield et. al. pocketing the money.
3 posted on 01/04/2018 8:05:44 AM PST by nuke_road_warrior (Making the world safe for nuclear power for over 20 years)
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To: All
$4.1M price hike for Northgate Interchange doesn’t deter officials (12/19/17)

By Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal

Since its public announcement in March, the Northgate Interchange project has successfully navigated several logistical roadblocks.

And the most recent hurdle — an estimated $4.1 million price hike to build the interchange and a tabled resolution calling for the Idaho Transportation Department to cover the difference — isn’t ordinary.

But it’s certainly not a deal breaker, according to private partner Buck Swaney of Millennial Development.

“It’s a normal obstacle and we will continue to move forward,” Swaney said. “We don’t expect this to impact the project and we’re not letting off the gas.”

The ITD board removed a resolution from its agenda before a meeting at its headquarters in Boise last week that called for ITD to cover the additional $4.1 million up front. The 50 percent increase brings the total cost to $12.5 million for the interchange alone.

“The board wants to take a little more time to consider how to best move forward,” said Bill Kotowski, ITD public information specialist. “The board wants to be very cautious to make sure we are taking the right steps to be good stewards with taxpayer dollars while still delivering on our commitment to safety, mobility and economic opportunity.”

The board has not announced when it will add the resolution back to its agenda.

The Northgate Interchange project involves constructing an interchange on Interstate 15 north of Pocatello and building connecting roads to the interchange from Olympus Drive in Pocatello and Siphon Road in Chubbuck. The interchange is expected to trigger a landslide of development in the surrounding areas.

The interchange construction and connecting infrastructure was set to begin in early spring 2018 and the entire project should be completed by October 2018 — that is, if ITD approves the additional $4.1 million resolution.

During last week’s meeting, however, the ITD board did approve an additional $86 million to widen Interstate 84 in Canyon County.

The additional funding will help pay for the estimated $330 million worth of improvements that are planned for the stretch of interstate between Franklin Boulevard in Nampa toward Caldwell.

“The board understands how important it is to bring all these partners together, but more importantly the board is aware of the importance of delivering to our investors, which are the taxpayers,” Kotowski said about the Northgate project. “We need to make sure we are doing the right things with their money.”

Kotowski continued, “This isn’t just an East Idaho issue because $4.1 million is a significant investment for the board to make. They want to make sure that we are doing everything right because public-private partnerships are a great opportunity to fund highway projects — if they are done right.”

While the tabled Northgate resolution called for ITD to cover the additional increase, the Bannock Transportation Policy Organization would repay ITD over the next three years by delaying two future projects in Pocatello.

A metropolitan planning organization, BTPO works with the state on the coordination, prioritization and planning of transportation projects within the urban area they are responsible for, according to BTPO Director Mori Byington.

“The two projects that were proposed for delay is a state-sponsored project that includes an intersection plus a corridor at Alameda Road and Yellowstone Avenue,” Byington said. “And the other one is a project funded by Pocatello and Chubbuck at the intersection of Hawthorne and Quinn roads that was scheduled for fiscal year 2021.”

Delaying the Hawthorne and Quinn intersection project frees up a little more than $2.65 million, and delaying the Alameda and Yellowstone project frees slightly less than $1.35 million.

Byington said a similar process was used during the construction of the South Valley Connector.

“It’s different but it’s nothing serious,” Byington added.

This isn’t the first obstacle developers have faced. What started out as a public-private partnership, the first of its kind in Idaho, the process was riddled with meeting after meeting while awaiting ITD approval.

Initially, the project was spearheaded by three municipal entities and two private developers that included the cities of Pocatello and Chubbuck, Bannock County and the private partnership of Millennial Development, of Utah, and the Pocatello-based Portneuf Development Company LLC.

But because the project involved a highway and interstate maintained by the state, the partners first needed ITD approval to move forward.

Once ITD committed to the project, the initial $8.4 million cost was funded by ITD contributing $5 million, and Chubbuck, Pocatello, and Bannock County contributing $3.4 million collectively.

Swaney said Millennial Development is currently in engineering, design and pre-construction mode and the tabled resolution from ITD doesn’t change anything moving forward.

Both mayors of Pocatello and Chubbuck also said they are moving forward as if business were usual.

“We will likely see the resolution back on the agenda in January,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad. “For Pocatello, this doesn’t change a thing and we believe ITD will find a way to make this happen.”

Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England said, “We’re going forward. We recognize that things can change, and we’ve dealt with that before. But we’ve been working with ITD for several months and we have a substantial amount of property that is developable. This is something that we plan to do no matter what.”

While Chubbuck is responsible for building the connecting infrastructure from Siphon Road to the interchange, Blad said that Millennial Development is tasked with building the connecting road from Olympus Drive, adding that the pot of Pocatello’s finances is dedicated to the construction of the interchange alone.

“The city is in great spot because if it does fall through for whatever reason we get our money back,” Blad said. “But I don’t anticipate this falling through. ITD is interested in hearing from the local engineer and when he is back I’m sure they will get this figured out.”

4 posted on 01/04/2018 11:09:38 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Happy New Year! Screeeeewwwww 2017!)
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To: nuke_road_warrior
>>the taxpayer holding the bag, and Satterfield et. al. pocketing the money.

Pretty typical scenario.

Good-ol-boys riding the infrastructure gravy train.

In Denver, it's Mayor/Governor Chickenlooper and his Jesuit cube-worshipping-MarxBankster  financed developer cronies.

MarxBank M.B.A.:  Vote for the Train! { link to vote for the train }

Me: Uhh, who's going to pay for the train?

MarxBank M.B.A.: Insfrastructure financing is political. We don't allow political talk on The Company intranet.


5 posted on 01/05/2018 6:35:29 AM PST by HLPhat ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS" -- Government with any other purpose is not American.)
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To: HLPhat

Yep, was living in Arvada when the “Lite Rail” thing went down.

6 posted on 01/05/2018 8:02:17 AM PST by nuke_road_warrior (Making the world safe for nuclear power for over 20 years)
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To: nuke_road_warrior

>>Yep, was living in Arvada when the “Lite Rail” thing went down.

Funny how the po folks living in 5-points don’t seem to be riding it to school... (which was the original sales pitch IIRC).

Seems the new stadium and Chickenlooper’s yuppy brewery enthusiasts moved in to the neighborhood.

It’s like Bread and Circuses in Logan’s Run, or something.

7 posted on 01/05/2018 8:17:09 AM PST by HLPhat ("TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS" -- Government with any other purpose is not American.)
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