U.S. 95 Sand Creek Byway – Sandpoint, ID
- Idaho Transportation Department
Connections for Commerce
U.S. Highway 95 is a primary north-south artery in Northern Idaho. At the city of Sandpoint, it proceeds through the main business district, requiring that vehicles navigate through traffic lights and three 90° turns. In 2008, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) began building the Sand Creek Byway to go around Sandpoint, creating a safer, less congested, and more direct route for commerce to the Canadian border.
Parsons served as the prime contractor for the 2.1-mile byway. This construction project, proposed since the 1940s, represented one of the largest single projects in ITD’s history. Project highlights included:
- Constructing four steel-girder highway bridges
- Building on unstable and compressible soils
- Constructing shoreline extensions along Sand Creek to extend the highway’s right of way
- Constructing 35 mechanically stabilized earth walls, precast and cast-in-place retaining walls, two pedestrian underpasses, and a pedestrian/bike path that parallels the highway’s alignment
- Preserving the historic Sandpoint train depot
- Working under winter weather conditions
The Sand Creek Byway was constructed adjacent to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway, which carries up to of 80 trains every 24 hours. Ensuring worker, public, and train safety were essential project requirements—as were ensuring uninterrupted rail traffic and preventing settlement of the railway’s right of way. The Sand Creek Byway project also required extensive erosion control measures and mitigation of stormwater runoff into waterways. In addition, the project required the protection of a critical habitat for threatened and protected species, including bald eagles and bull trout.
The U.S. Sand Creek Byway was completed ahead of schedule and our quality plan played a key role in managing the project’s aggressive timeline. We conducted readiness review meetings before we began constructing any new phase of work to address safety, material requirements, and the scope of work. Parsons has the expertise and equipment to self-perform complex construction projects, and our proactive processes help eliminate rework resulting from errors in line and/or grade. Moreover, we employ journeyman-level skilled union craft—managed by experienced superintendents—to ensure quality workmanship.
Featured Oct 2010/Jul 2017