Apr 15, 2024

Design Matters: Roadway Improvements

By Focus Engineering In Expertise No comments

Roadway Improvements: Concept to Completion

Utah and Idaho’s transportation networks are vital for economic growth and resident well-being. Roadway improvements play a crucial role in maintaining and enhancing the safety and efficiency of these systems.

These projects encompass a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Resurfacing roads damaged by winter weather
  • Adding lanes to freeways and intersections
  • Widening existing roads
  • Building acceleration lanes and on/off-ramps for new developments

States’ Transportation Departments (Utah Department of Transportation, UDOT; Idaho Transportation Department, ITD) often spearhead major projects, while city planning departments and private developers may initiate smaller-scale improvements based on traffic studies. Regardless of the initiator, successful roadway improvements necessitate collaboration between all stakeholders. We must also strictly adhere to city, county, and agency regulations.

FOCUS’s Approach to Roadway Improvements

At FOCUS Engineering & Surveying, we understand the complexities of navigating roadway improvement projects across both Utah and Idaho. Jason Watson, Transportation Department Manager at FOCUS, emphasizes our commitment to client success: “At FOCUS, clear and effective communication is paramount. We work collaboratively with clients to develop customized communication plans that keep them informed throughout the entire process. Our focus remains on exceeding expectations by adhering to budget constraints and established timelines.”

The Design Process for Roadway Improvements

Our Transportation Department team employs a meticulous approach that ensures a well-designed and compliant project. Here’s a breakdown of our process:

  1. Comprehensive Site Survey: We conduct a thorough site survey, meticulously mapping out the topography, including existing pavement edges, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, and utilities.
  2. Base Map and Design Development: Based on the survey data, we create a detailed base map and initiate the design process. This collaborative process involves client input, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  3. 60% Design Review: Once the design reaches 60% completion, it undergoes a rigorous internal review to identify any potential issues before proceeding further. The 60% design will be submitted to the agency for their comments.
  4. 90% Design and Standards Compliance: The design progresses to 90% completion, meticulously adhering to all governing body requirements, standards, and specific project guidelines.
  5. Final Design and Bidding: Following finalization, the comprehensive design is submitted for contractor bidding, paving the way for project construction.
Unique Challenges of Roadway Design in Utah and Idaho

Both Utah and Idaho have unique climates that present specific challenges for roadway design. Unlike many states with milder weather patterns, Utah’s freeways often utilize concrete surfaces due to their superior performance in freeze-thaw cycles. Idaho, with its varying geographic regions, may require a mix of concrete and asphalt pavements depending on location and weather conditions. Regardless of the material, both states can experience challenges with lane marking visibility. While raised pavement markings offer a solution, frequent snow plowing can damage them. FOCUS works to mitigate such challenges by proposing innovative solutions, such as improved lane marking color contrast, tailored to the specific needs of each project location.

FOCUS’s Current Roadway Improvement Projects

FOCUS is currently undertaking roadway improvement projects in Utah and Idaho.

  • At Broadview Shores in Provo City, Utah, we are adding right-hand and left-hand turning lanes for a new development.
  • Along Mountain View Corridor in Herriman, Utah, we are working on several projects that are part of the Panorama master plan development.
  • In Nampa, Idaho, intersection improvements for the Farmstead Apartments include adding left and right turn lanes along Cherry Lane at the apartment entrance.
FOCUS’s Commitment to Safe and Efficient Roadway Infrastructure

FOCUS cares about Roadway Improvements from the design concepts through the completion of the project. We understand the importance of safe and efficient roadway infrastructure. That’s why we work closely with developers and governing bodies to ensure that every step of the process is handled with the utmost care and attention. Our top priority is clear communication and practical timelines so that all involved agencies can achieve the best possible outcomes.