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Dangerous Idaho Highway Due for Improvement Project

Another piece of a marathon North Idaho highway improvement project should be completed by next fall. For about 15 years now, Idaho transportation department planners have been trying to straighten and widen US 95 between Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston.

It was once considered one of the most dangerous major highways in the country because its narrow lanes looped and twisted through the countryside with numerous blind spots and sharp curves.

One of the final projects in a 15-year long program to widen and straighten the roadway begins this week in the little town of Worley, south of Coeur d' Alene. It's a $6-million or more program to upgrade nearly three miles of the highway through town. It includes new turn lanes in the center of town, bike lanes, curbs and gutters, sidewalks and new lighting.

Finding money for the work has been an exercise in perseverance for Idaho transportation department officials. They tried five times to land federal money through a special grant program before finally getting approval. The last major work on the highway just north of Worley was funded in 2009 by state bond money. 

US 95 is the primary arterial for north-south travel in north Idaho.

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