A downtown revitalization effort in addition to a major expansion of a local casino led to the need for a pedestrian tunnel beneath Highway 95. Previously, visitors to the Best Western Kootenai River Inn, Casino and Spa were forced to walk down the road and cross a busy elevated highway to reach a city parking lot.
The city and the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) elected to construct a pedestrian tunnel beneath the road to create an alternate route and improve safety. The project is also a part of ITD’s Transportation Enhancement Program, a statewide competitive program that distributes federal funds to projects that strengthen the cultural, aesthetic or environmental value of Idaho’s transportation system.
For the highway underpass structure, the ITD originally considered a cast-in-place box structure. Contech value engineered a MULTI-PLATE tunnel as an alternate solution, as it could provide significant time savings during installation for general contractor Westway Construction. Headwalls and wingwalls, originally specified as cast-in-place, were changed to Keystone® to save additional time and money. Westway utilized staged construction to have the structure installed in two weeks.
“Use of the Contech steel MULTI-PLATE culvert on this project saved the project both time and money, greatly reducing the time to impede public traffic and providing a cost credit to the project,” said Mark Johnson, General Manager for Westway Construction.