Construction Notice – Motorists Advised to Avoid 1st Street

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The Idaho Falls Water Department is repairing a water main leak on 1st Street just west of Holmes Avenue. Motorists are advised to avoid travel on this street.

Eastbound traffic on 1st Street, between Higbee Avenue and Holmes Avenue, is being redirected.  Westbound traffic is still open past the work site.

All businesses remain open and access to businesses will be maintained. The public is advised to find alternate routes and avoid traveling this area, if possible. Crews are working on resolving the issue, and the eastbound lane will be reopened as soon as possible.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Interim Zoo Superintendent Announced

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  Linda Beard will serve as the interim zoo superintendent at the Idaho Falls Zoo effective immediately.  

Beard takes the helm after exiting superintendent, Beth Rich, accepted a position as the director of animal care and health at the Milwaukee County Zoo last month.

Beard began working as the animal care supervisor at the Idaho Falls Zoo in 1993. She has been directly involved with the research, planning, construction and maintenance of nearly every exhibit at the zoo.

“Linda has played a vital role in making the zoo a popular Idaho Falls attraction and has upheld the highest standards of animal welfare. She has also been directly involved with guiding the zoo through several Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) accreditation processes,” states Greg A. Weitzel, director, Idaho Falls Parks & Recreation.

Beard also managed the duties of the zoo curator and assisted as a veterinarian technician at the zoo until job positions were created to fill those duties.

Beard has an educational background from the AZA Management School and has attended numerous zookeeper-related workshops and trainings.

“I am very pleased Linda accepted the interim position.  She is a very qualified and professional employee, and I am confident she will continue to do a great job,” states Weitzel.

Linda Beard states, “I am looking forward to expanding my career at the zoo to include other aspects beyond animal care. I have passion and a love for what I do, and I’m honored to help ensure things run smoothly until a new superintendent is hired.  We truly have the best little zoo in the intermountain west, and it is my goal to maintain the standards that our guests are accustomed to.”

The position for the permanent zoo superintendent will be posted on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidahoi.gov until July 24. The position has also been posted with the AZA. A selection committee has been formed to review applicants, and the process should take approximately 60 days. The city pays the permanent zoo superintendent an hourly salary range of $25-$35.

Media Note:  For additional information, contact Greg A. Weitzel  directly at (208) 612-8482. He will be available  from 2-3  p.m. this afternoon.

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City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Pancheri Drive Project Advertised for Construction

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The construction project on Pancheri Drive, between the Skyline Drive and Bellin Road, is now being advertised for construction.

The city’s Public Works Division completed the design work for the project this past spring.  However, in response to the projected Transportation Federal Funding shortfall, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) delayed the construction advertisement for bids.

As a result of recent activity by the Federal government, ITD is now confident to move forward with advertising this and other projects for bid throughout the state.

As stated in the press release dated July 3, the city’s original intent was to coordinate the construction schedule with school vacations this summer to reduce the impact on Eagle Rock Junior High School and Skyline High School.  Due to the delay in advertising this project for construction bids, actual construction will now be coordinated with school operations during the summer of 2015.

The project includes widening Pancheri Drive from Skyline Drive to Bellin Road to five lanes and installing three pedestrian activated signals to better accommodate pedestrian traffic in between the two schools.

“No one was more disappointed by the delay than I, but I am now hopeful that we can look forward to a beautiful road next summer. Now, our biggest challenge may be managing traffic on Pancheri Drive during peak school hours,” states Mayor Casper.

Additional construction information and links to maps can be found on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or by calling (208) 612-8256.

Media Note: For questions, call Kent Fugal, city engineer, directly at (208) 612-8256.

City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Baby Boom at the Idaho Falls Zoo

Idaho Falls, Idaho: July is proving to be a good month for babies at the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park.  The Chilean flamingos have hatched the first of several eggs, and in the Mara Aviaries guests can find three rock hyrax babies and four spur-winged lapwing chicks.

The two snow leopard cubs that were born on May 7 are now on exhibit with their mother.  The cubs and their mother are generally on exhibit only in the mornings. In the afternoons, the male snow leopard is on exhibit.

Earlier this season the zoo had three ring-tailed lemurs, two Nubian goats and a zebra foal born.

“Successful reproduction is an indicator of good animal welfare,” says Beth Rich, zoo superintendent. “It tells us our animals are getting what they need both physically and mentally, and zoo babies are always popular with guests,” adds Rich.

Admission to the Idaho Falls Zoo is just $7 for adults 13-61 years old, $5.50 for seniors 62 and older, $4 for children 4-12 years old and children 3 and under are free.  For more information visit the zoo online at www.idahofallszoo.org.

For more information on our education programs or to register for classes, visit our website www.idahofallszoo.org and click on Education Programs or contact the Zoo Education Department at (208) 612-8453 or zooeducation@idahofallszoo.org. Visitors are always welcome to visit the gift shop for additional information, open daily from 9am-4pm.

Media Note: For interviews or additional questions, contact Linda Beard, animal care supervisor, at (208) 612-8552.

City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Street Light Project Set for Constitution Way

IDAHO FALLS, IdahoIdaho Falls Power (IFP) is set to begin upgrading the street lights along Constitution Way later this month—a project that will impact traffic and parking in the downtown area.

The work calls for removing 13 old light poles that have begun to deteriorate, adding three new lights and replacing old equipment on a handful of other poles.

Construction will begin July 28 and is expected to take three weeks.

The entire stretch of Constitution Way will be affected, from the Bonneville County Courthouse on Capital Avenue to Yellowstone Highway.

Some of the existing overhead lines will be converted to underground, so the project will entail some digging, trenching and boring. IFP contracted with KM Services Company to handle that aspect of the work.

No power outages are expected, but parking and traffic along Constitution Way will likely be impacted during the first two weeks of the project.

The new lighting will feature LED bulbs, which use a fraction of the energy but produce much more light and last much longer than the existing high-pressure sodium bulbs.

Property owners were notified by mail this week, and signs will be erected alerting motorists to delays or detours.

Media note:  For questions, contact Matt Evans, customer service manager, Idaho Falls Power at (208) 612-8436.

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City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

D Street Underpass Construction Update

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The city’s public works division is pleased to announce the new completion date for the D Street underpass project of mid-August.

The long-awaited construction on the D Street underpass began in March 2013.  The road between Yellowstone Avenue and Eastern Avenue has been closed to traffic since that time.

The original project completion date was June 2014. An unexpected derailment outside of the area in March of 2014 took Union Pacific Railroad crews off the D Street project.  This, in turn, caused delays in getting railroad traffic switched over to the new structure.

“We appreciate Cannon Builders for their hard work and diligence on this project, and we would like to clarify that the construction delays have been beyond their control,” states Kent Fugal, city engineer.

The city would like to remind the public that the vehicular railroad crossing at Lava Street will be permanently closed following the completion of the D Street underpass to minimize the number of railroad crossings and increase safety to the traveling public. This agreement between the city of Idaho Falls and Union Pacific Railroad was included in the existing D Street Underpass Agreement approved by the city in December of 2012.

We would also like to announce that the new ADA compliant pedestrian railroad crossing at B Street and Yellowstone Avenue is now open.

Additional construction information and links to maps can be found on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or by calling the City of Idaho Falls Public Works Division at (208) 612-8256.

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City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Purple Ribbons Symbolize Paint the Town Purple Campaign

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  Purple ribbons will be placed along Memorial Drive and Broadway in Idaho Falls this week in honor of the Paint the Town Purple campaign. The ribbons serve as a reminder to the community about the American Cancer Society Relay for Life event that will take place this Friday, July 11 at Thunder Stadium located behind Bonneville High School.

Relay for Life is an overnight community fundraising event where participants celebrate and remember those who have been affected by cancer. The funds are used for cancer research and patient resources in the fight back against cancer.

Admission is free. The event will begin with an opening ceremony at 6 p.m., followed by a survivor recognition ceremony that includes participants walking the first lap around the stadium. The luminaria ceremony will be held at 10 p.m. and includes surrounding the track with glowing luminaria bags that have been purchased in honor or memory of someone who has lost their life to cancer or who is currently battling cancer.

Live music, food, crafts, raffles and games will be available in a safe and family-friendly atmosphere.  Relay team members will spend the evening camping out, raising money and walking laps around the track in recognition and honor of loved ones affected by cancer.

For more information about Relay for Life or Paint the Town Purple, contact the 2014 Event Chair, Jennifer Moulton at (208) 716-0878.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Additional Info:www.relayforlife.org/idahofallsid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Pancheri Drive Update

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The road construction project on Pancheri Drive, between the Skyline Drive and Bellin Road, has been placed on hold due to a funding gap from the Highway Trust Fund resulting in delayed federal reimbursements to Idaho.  The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has put all project advertisements on hold as the Highway Trust Fund faces insolvency as soon as Aug. 2014.

The city of Idaho Falls public works division completed the design work for the project a couple of months ago and has been awaiting ITD approval.  The city only learned recently that it must wait for the suspension to be lifted before advertising for bids.

The original intent was to coordinate the construction schedule with school operations this summer to reduce the impact on Eagle Rock Junior High School and Skyline High School.  Due to the funding delay, that will no longer be an option for this construction year.

“When we know that the trust fund is replenished, we will evaluate the impacts to school and determine the proper course of action at that time. However, this will likely involve bidding the project in the near future but constructing it the following summer,” states Kent Fugal, city engineer.

Mayor Casper states, “This came as disappointing news, and it demonstrates how intertwined the funding for roads is.  I would like citizens to know that Idaho Falls will move forward with project planning whenever Congress addresses the problem.”

The project includes widening Pancheri Drive from Skyline Drive to Bellin Road to five lanes and installing three pedestrian activated signals to better accommodate pedestrian traffic in between the two schools.

Additional construction information and links to maps can be found on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or by calling (208) 612-8256.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Utah Avenue Roundabout

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  Renovation will begin on the Utah Ave. roundabout on July 7 and will include the replacement and addition of new curb and sidewalk.

“Construction will not affect the central island of the roundabout, but we will be changing the roadway geometry to look more like the Memorial Drive roundabout,” states Kent Fugal, city engineer.

There will be significant delays at that location during construction. The public is encouraged to reduce speeds, be aware of crews and equipment and to use alternate routes.

No semi-truck traffic will be permitted on Utah Ave. during construction. Access to all businesses will remain open, and business owners will be contacted. The anticipated completion time is two months. DePatco is the contractor on this project.

Additional construction information and links to maps can be found on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or by calling (208) 612-8256.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City of Idaho Falls Contact:
Kerry McCullough
Public Information Officer
Office: (208) 612-8122
kmccullough@idahofallsidaho.gov

Seal Coating

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho:  The city’s public works division contracted with HK Contractors, Inc. to begin seal coating Channing Way and Sunnyside Road beginning July 6.

Channing Way from Sunnyside Road to 17th Street will be chip sealed on July 6, followed by chip sealing on Sunnyside Road from Holmes Avenue to Woodruff Avenue on July 13.

The anticipated duration for completion is two weeks. The primary impact of the construction will occur on July 6 and July 13.

The impact to traffic is limited, and the public should be aware of construction crews and equipment.  Drivers are encouraged to reduce speed in these areas to avoid rock chip damage to vehicles.

Additional construction information and links to maps can be found on the city’s website at www.idahofallsidaho.gov or by calling (208) 612-8256.

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About Idaho Falls:  Situated along the Snake River at the western edge of the world famous Rocky Mountains, Idaho Falls has all the features of big city living, but still embraces a small town charm. Our skyline consists of the majestic Teton Mountain Range, and in our backyard is the world’s most famous park – Yellowstone. As the regional center for healthcare, shopping, and entertainment, Idaho Falls is attractive to small and large businesses alike and consistently finds itself listed in the top ten rankings of many prestigious magazines, newspapers and professional community research publications.  Learn more at http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/

Office of the Mayor