Targhee Pass News

Targhee Pass January 2021 Update

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announce the release of a signed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Targhee Pass Environmental Assessment (EA). The FONSI is inclusive of the final EA. The Targhee Pass EA evaluated the risks, benefits, opportunities and costs associated with reconstruction of Targhee Pass (U.S. 20 between the junction with S.H. 87 and the Montana state line). Electronic Copies of the FONSI and EA documents can be found on the Resource Links and Information page of this website.

Comments on the FONSI were solicited from June 24, 2020 to July 24, 2020, and updates were made to the document. Comments on the draft EA were solicited from January 2, 2019 through February 28, 2019. The final EA includes responses to comments in a new chapter (Chapter 6). The preferred alternative, Alternative 3, has not changed from what was previously identified in the draft EA document in 2019.

The preferred alternative includes:

  • An additional travel lane in the uphill direction from SH 87 to the Montana State line
  • Shoulder widening from 5-feet to 8-feet
  • Hill cut to improve stopping sight distance
  • Left- and right-turn lanes into Big Horn Hills Estates entrances
  • Tree clearing to reduce shade
  • Road subsurface reconstruction and drainage improvements
  • An activated animal-detection system that would alert drivers to the presence of animals
  • The alternative does not include crossing structures or wildlife fencing.

The FONSI identifies the preferred alternative from the EA as the selected alternative. The FONSI is being made available for public information, along with the final EA document and supporting appendices.

The Federal Highway Administration has decided to finalize and sign the FONSI, which concludes the EA process. FHWA and ITD will publish a Statute of Limitations notice in the Federal Register, pursuant to 23 USC §139(l), indicating that one or more Federal agencies have taken final action on permits, licenses, or approvals for a transportation project.

Construction at Targhee Pass is programed for 2026 in ITD’s schedule of planned projects.

Targhee Pass Environmental Assessment

ITD is currently conducting an environmental assessment of the Targhee Pass segment of the corridor (U.S. 20 between its junction with Idaho 87 and the Montana state line.). ITD is evaluating risks, benefits, opportunities, and costs associated with reconstruction of Targhee Pass.

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Targhee Pass EA Process & Timeline

Study Initiation Incorporate Comments Public Meeting #2

Alternatives Workshop
Public Meeting #3

Present Draft Alternatives
Complete Impact Analysis Public Meeting #4

Present EA Document
Stakeholder Assessment

Public Scoping/ Comment Period (12/15/16-1/30/17)
Refine Purpose & Need

Evaluate Strategies for Reducing Wildlife Collisions & Maintaining Migration Corridors
Incorporate Comments

Develop Draft Alternatives
30-day Public Comment Period

Incorporate Comments & Refine Alternatives
Prepare Environmental Assessment (EA) Document 30-day Public Comment Period

Finalize EA

Prepare & Publicize Decision
Current status

It is ITD’s goal to provide a process that supports open and transparent public participation. While an aggressive schedule has been set to ensure roadway and safety needs are met in a timely fashion, we have allowed time in that schedule to accommodate effective stakeholder engagement throughout the study process.

Contact Us

Targhee Pass Study Team
(c/o The Langdon Group)
677 South Woodruff Avenue
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
(208) 220-5937