St. Luke’s patients and staff, along with drivers and pedestrians in the Fort Boise area, will see construction activity stretching around the downtown Boise hospital campus.
Due to major transportation and utility improvements, crews have several streets around the St. Luke's hospital in downtown Boise temporarily closed during the next several weeks. The work is to replace aging water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer pipes serving the hospital and surrounding neighborhoods. It is part of a project partnership that includes St. Luke’s Health System, ACHD and the City of Boise. This work is being expedited in an effort to complete major paving projects and reopen all roads and lanes by the start of the snowy season that usually happens about December in Boise. During the temporary closures, emergency vehicles will have access at all times.
Upcoming open house: St. Luke's, the City of Boise and ACHD host monthly community open houses at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month for the public to ask questions about the road projects in the St. Luke's area. The next open house is Nov. 8 at Roosevelt Elementary School, 980 E. Jefferson St., Boise.
Where: East Jefferson Street, between Avenue B and Avenue C
Duration: Through mid-November.
Work: This closure is needed to accomplish the installation of a valve cluster in the intersection with Avenue B and the pipes east and west on Jefferson. This work will allow the Jefferson/Avenue B intersection to remain open next year when crews begin work on the block of Jefferson north of the hospital.
Where: Fort Street, between Robbins Road and the State/1st streets intersection.
Duration: Monday, Oct. 16, for approximately 10 days. Subject to change based on weather and project conditions.
Work: Due to unmarked, abandoned pipes discovered during work in late September, crews are returning to finish bringing a water pipe through the intersection at 2nd Street and tie it into the main line. Idaho Power and Intermountain Gas will take advantage of this closure to upgrade their utilities at the same time as this storm/sanitary work is being done.
Where: 1st Street, between Idaho and Bannock Streets.
Duration: Tentatively beginning about Monday, Oct. 23. Subject to change based on weather and project conditions.
St. Luke’s Health System, in conjunction with ACHD and the City of Boise, started road construction in July around St. Luke's downtown Boise hospital. This work is in preparation for the development project that will modernize the Boise hospital in order to improve access and care, while providing improved transportation flow.
The first phase of work centers on improvements to public roads and infrastructure in a 12-block area around the hospital. The goal is to better link the area with Boise’s downtown urban core.
Major aspects of this phase include:
During this work, road construction crews will be concentrated:
Map Showing Current and Future Road Alignment
Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on Avenue B and Fort streets beginning at Bannock and continuing through 2nd Street. Reserve is closed at Avenue H and detoured traffic is moved to Warm Springs. Reserve is expected to remain closed through October 2017. To ensure access for pedestrians and cyclists, they will be moved to the opposite side of the street from where work is occurring.
The posted detour for the Reserve Street closure is: Avenue H to McKinley Street, to Straughan Street, to Warm Springs. Drivers are also encouraged to reduce speeds in anticipation of increased activity. Construction crews urge travelers to please be attentive while driving through the project area as conditions change regularly. Drivers are reminded that they present an additional hazard to work crews. They’re urged to do their part to create a safe work environment to the men and women working to improve area roads. Travelers are also encouraged to add a few extra minutes to their commutes or find alternative and detour routes to avoid delays.
In addition to traffic changes implemented in July, crews will:
Improvements along the perimeter of the campus include constructing the cycle track, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. For the cycle track, construction crews have been concentrated along Idaho Street near Avenue B to 1st Street. They will work their way to 2nd Street and ultimately up toward Bannock. Workers are removing asphalt, gutters, curbs and sidewalks. When that demolition is complete, the area will be regraded and concrete poured. The project is expected to last through the end of August.
While the cycle track work is going on, no parking will be allowed on Idaho Street as traffic will be reduced to one lane and shifted to the south. Parking will also be off-limits along 2nd Street in order for traffic to continue to flow in both directions.
Hospital visitors, patients, physicians and staff that use the South Tower parking garage should add a few extra minutes to their trip as they will not be able to enter or exit from Idaho Street. Drivers will need to utilize the entrance and exit on the opposite side of the structure off Bannock Street. With the increased volume of traffic on Bannock, drivers are urged to slow down and use caution.
Pedestrians will be rerouted to the side of the street furthest from the work. In addition, the crossing at Avenue A and Idaho will be closed. St. Luke’s employees and other pedestrians will instead need to use the west side of First Street during the construction.
For patients receiving care at MSTI, please note the drop-off area will remain accessible throughout construction. Concrete work will be done in phases to keep one driveway passable. When the east entrance is closed, drivers will use the west driveway and pull into the parking garage. St. Luke’s attendants will assist patients entering MSTI’s west door. When the west driveway is closed, drivers will enter the half-circle and drop-off patients at the front door. To protect patients, parking along the south side of the half-circle will be temporarily off-limits. Central Paving intends to do the work over two, three day periods to minimize the impact on MSTI patients, and will provide advance notice prior to the work. Signs will be posted to help guide drivers.
Patients visiting the Anderson Plaza building on 2nd Street should be aware that the main front entrance will be impacted by construction of the cycle track. At this time, crews will keep the front ramp accessible, but the stairs to the south will be closed.
Central Paving will continue major excavation work along the northeast section of Fort Street from Reserve to 2nd Street. Crews are removing asphalt, curbs, gutters and sidewalks in order to construct the new road. Pedestrians traveling from St. Luke’s to Elks Rehabilitation Hospital should walk up 1st Street, use the sidewalk on the south side of Fort and then cross at Robbins Road.
The parking lots south and east of the Boise Little Theater off Fort Street will be closed. Drivers will not be allowed to turn at Garrison and should access other parking off Robbins Road. The lots will remain closed for approximately one month for sanitary sewer work.
Due to the sidewalk and cycle track improvements and as considered at public hearings, trees in this area were removed. St. Luke’s is contractually obligated to replace removed trees using the city forester’s valuation and ACHD right-of-way rules. The tree removal is the result of three specific transportation projects the City of Boise, ACHD and the community requested of St. Luke’s:
St. Luke’s is working closely with the city forester to plant 90 new trees in the cycle track median, in exchange for the 64 removed. St. Luke’s will ensure sensitive and appropriate choices are made for the restoration of the tree canopy throughout this portion of the plan. St. Luke’s intends to plant trees that are more valuable than required under city code and has agreed to incur this expense, even though the work requiring the majority of removals is directed by the three-party agreement.
Proposed rendering of the cycle track and median showing the replacement trees six to eight years after planting.
Road work in this area will last at least through early next year, depending on the weather. Because of the fluid nature of this type of project, timelines will be adjusted. When changes impact drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, patients, staff and the neighborhoods, St. Luke’s will communicate the information in a timely manner. Monthly community meetings with St. Luke’s, the City and ACHD will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at Roosevelt Elementary School located at 980 E. Jefferson Street.
Once Central Paving completes its contract for this phase of work, the second major phase will likely start next construction season and concentrate on the new roundabout at Fort, Robbins and 3rd streets. Jefferson Street cannot be closed until the first phase of improvements and the Bannock Plaza redesign are complete, which is anticipated to be next summer.
Proposed Rendering of the new downtown Boise St. campus.
The work is part of St. Luke’s Master Plan for its Boise campus and is the result of years of extensive study, planning and collaboration with key stakeholders, including the City of Boise, the Ada County Highway District and area residents. The thorough process included dozens of workshops, open houses and neighborhood association meetings, which helped to shape and evolve the plan through thoughtful input.
This is not a “single project,” but a multi-phased plan that will occur in stages over the years to come. At its core is our commitment to create an environment in which we can provide the best possible care for patients and families, in an environment geared toward safety, healing and comfort, explained Dave McFadyen, St. Luke's Boise administrator.
“We are happy this is finally moving forward because this development allows us to better meet the needs of our patients by providing modern, advanced care in a more user-friendly setting,” said McFadyen. “While this development does add capacity, it's less about growth and more about re-configuring our campus. It will be easier to navigate and find your doctor. There’s more room to care for our growing, aging community struggling with more complex chronic health problems. Our physicians will be right there ready to help in an emergency rather than a few blocks away, and our facility will be upgraded in a way that it flows better, saving precious minutes in emergencies, when time truly matters.”
Together, the project will be one of the largest investments ever made in Boise and Idaho. It will bring new jobs to the region while building on Boise’s growing reputation as one of the most livable cities in the country with the high-quality health care that is a critical component of quality of life. The project will be financed through bonds, cash on hand and community philanthropy. This major development project is estimated to bring as much as $1.2 billion of rollover economic benefit and job growth to the community.
Rendering of the new St. Luke's Boise Hospital entrance at 1st and Fort Streets.
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Anita Kisseé is the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.