By ROBERT S. MERRILL
A project, designed to improve safety on South State in front of Stokes MarketPlace, has recently been completed and will change traffic patterns on the highway.
Entryways into the parking lot of the grocery store off South State have been eliminated. New curb, gutter, and sidewalks have been poured where the entrances have been for years.
Business owner Larry Stokes and Preston Mayor F. Lee Hendrickson told The Preston Citizen the changes were made because of safety concerns.
“We’ve had a concern for years that the entryways may pose an unsafe traffic flow, especially where the highway (South State) curves to the southeast,” said Stokes.
He said a new 40-foot access off the highway will be opened in the near future. It is further to the south, near
V-1 Oil, and should provide a lot better vision down the highway, he added.
Right now the only access to the parking lot is from 200 South. “Some of the staff expressed concerns over the change, but it should be an improvement. We certainly appreciate the patience and loyalty of our customers,” said Stokes.
The parking lot will be re-striped this coming spring to better direct traffic flow, said Stokes. This fall Stokes purchased a residential house between the grocery store and V-1 Oil and had it moved off the property to expand a parking lot and help with sight distances.
Hendrickson said the Idaho Department of Highways has been wanting to do something different with the Stokes access for years.
“The city has also had some concerns in this location,” he said. “We think the changes will drastically improve the traffic flow and improve safety, especially at the intersection that separates U.S. 91 from South State on the bend.
“Officials have been working with Stokes and the Highway Department for a number of weeks on this project. The State actually has taken the lead and is paying for the curb, gutter, and sidewalk,” the mayor added. “This will make for a much cleaner traffic flow and improve overall safety.”
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