- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - A plan to build bike lanes and pedestrian pathways around Lake Lowell that also connects the nearby cities of Caldwell and Nampa is taking shape, officials in southwest Idaho say.

The lake portion of the plan could begin this June, Canyon Highway District engineer Timothy Richard told the Idaho Press-Tribune (https://bit.ly/2mRrh8w ). “Over the years, we have received a lot of concerns from people who bike out there for a need for more facilities,” he said.

Local officials adopted the Lake Lowell Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Plan in November that was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The goal is to create a system that connects residents of Caldwell and Nampa to Lake Lowell and the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.

The $32 million project is expected to take five to 10 years to build. It’s being paid for with federal dollars and local matches from cities and highway districts, officials said.

The first part of the project is widening the road shoulders on Riverside Roade from Orchard Avenue to Lake Shore Drive, as well as other routes in the area, officials said. “It’s a benefit both to the drivers having a good, paved shoulders, but also bicycles and pedestrians,” Richard said.

The next part of the plan, he said, is to build pathways from strategic routes in Caldwell and Nampa that would connect residents to the lake. He said he’s encouraging local entities to adopt the bike plan into future improvement plans.

Some already have done so. Nampa spokeswoman Vickie Holbrook said the city adopted the Lake Lowell Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Access plan Feb. 6.

In Caldwell, Planning and Zoning Director Brian Billingsley said the city has revised its Caldwell Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan to mesh with the Lake Lowell bike plan. The city plans a workshop March 20 to discuss how the two plans intersect, with the city considering adopting a revised city plan at an April 3 hearing.

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Information from: Idaho Press-Tribune, https://www.idahopress.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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