is dictated by several factors. Our
County Master Plan, the proposed bypass, the widening of Highway
95, and roads planned by the state.
The most controversial of all projects locally is the Sand Creek Byway. (State
Web Page: Sand Creek Byway) Many are opposed, including the
outspoken North Idaho Community Action Committee (NICAN).
The project has been challenged legally, and the disagreement reported in USA
Today and the
Bonner Daily Bee, the Spokane Journal, and the Spokesman Review
many times. While most agree some sort of bypass is needed, a substantial
minority disagree with the placement and the environmental impact. Others feel
that bypassing the city of Sandpoint will hurt the economy greatly. However,
despite the controversy, it appears the project is finally underway.
U.S. Route 95
is a north-south United States highway. Unlike many other US highways, it has
not been the victim of decommissioning by an encroaching Interstate highway
corridor. In fact, US 95 is the only US highway to gain mileage after California
began to decommission US Highways in the 1960s, and it is the only US Highway
not to end in California after entering it.
US Highway 95 in the state of Idaho is going through a massive overhaul. In
2000, Idaho started a massive reconstruction project on Highway 95 in the north
of the state due to a large amount of accidents and fatalities. Three main
processes have started and will revamp the highway completely.
section, south of
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho from Fighting Creek on the
Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation to Coeur d'Alene, has since been
completed. It changed the highway from a two lane highway to a four lane highway
for approximately 10 miles.
The second section, from Fighting Creek to Lake Creek on the Coeur d'Alene
Indian Reservation, is currently under progress and will affect a 7 mile stretch
of the highway. The project is expected to be completed in mid-2006.
The last section, from Lake Creek to Worley, Idaho, is expected to start
mid-to-late 2006 and is not expected to be completed until late 2007 or early
2008. This section is significant due to it being entirely on the Coeur d'Alene
Indian Reservation. The "new" highway will bypass the
Coeur d'Alene Casino, the largest business on the Reservation,
with the old highway becoming an alternate route that will connect the highway
to the casino and the more remote regions of the reservation.
20 mile stretch of highway is completed, the length of the highway will have
been cut down by about 20 miles.
Many more reconstruction projects are being undertaken in the northern part of
the state including ones between Plummer, Idaho and Moscow, Idaho, between
Moscow, Idaho and Lewiston, Idaho, and between Lewiston, Idaho and Riggins,
Articles on the Sand Creek Byway by the Lakes Commission
Bonner County Sand
Creek Byway Comprehensive Plan
Department - Traffic Alerts
Idaho Transportation Department - US 95 Improvements,
Garwood to Sagle
U.S. 95 McArthur Lake Safety
Improvement and Wildlife Crossing
Statewide Transportation Improvement Program
North Idaho Bikeways
State of Idaho Transportation Plan PDF
N.I.C.E - North Idaho Community Express & Other Transit
Sand Creek Byway Exchange
Even once the four-lane Byway is
finished, the Sandpoint Long Bridge will still only be two lanes.
Highway 200 to Hope, Idaho is part of the beautiful International Selkirk Loop
and is a county maintained road. However, it is not always plowed until much
later than roads closer to Sandpoint.
Visualization of the Sand Creek Byway
Highway 95 Proposal
Two-mile-long Walking and Biking Bridge across Lake Pend Oreille
Sandpoint-Dover Community Walking & Bike Trail