Questions arise about safety of merge lanes on Idaho I-84

Print
Email
|

by Kim Fields
Idaho's NewsChannel 7

NWCN.com

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 12:12 PM

BOISE -- An accident this weekend on Interstate 84 between Orchard Street and the Vista Interchange is serving as a reminder of how dangerous construction zones can be.

A driver failed to yield to traffic already on the freeway and that caused a three car pile-up.

We decided to take a closer look at the on-ramps at the Orchard and Vista interchanges on I-84 after a viewer e-mailed us saying they felt the distance to merge onto the freeway at those interchanges is too short and therefore dangerous.

No one was seriously hurt in the accident, but traffic was backed for more than two hours Saturday afternoon.

Investigators say a pickup truck was attempting to merge onto the freeway but did not yield to a driver already on the interstate.

That caused the driver on the interstate to slow down and a semi following too closely ran into both of them.

We asked a spokesperson with Idaho Transportation Department about the length of the on-ramp at Orchard Street.

While that intersection is still under construction, work on the on and off ramps is done.

June Sparks says the length of the ramps meets state guidelines.  In fact, the ramps are longer now than they were at the start of construction.

"You're still in a construction zone.  So while I can say that the actual physical length of the ramp is done, orange cones might shorten that distance," said Sparks.

And there are only two lanes of traffic, making it harder for drivers on the interstate to move over to the right to let merging traffic in.

So who has the right of way?

Police say motorists already on the interstate have the right of way.  If you are merging onto the interstate, by law, you must yield the right of way.

Print
Email
|