Interstate 184, the Boise Connector, travels 3.62 miles from Interstate 84 into the city center of Boise, joining the state capitol with the suburbs. The Boise West Connector opened in December 1968 from Interstate 80N, while I-80N (Boise Bypass) was dedicated in 1969 between Maple Grove Road and Isaacs Canyon.1 The freeway was designated Interstate 180, Interstate 180N, and Business Loop Interstate 84 in its history.

The easternmost extent of the Boise Connector, including the bridge across the Boise River, opened to traffic in August 1992. A two-stage project between February 15, 1999 and September 6, 2004 reconstructed the 1968-built western terminus, "the Flying Wye", from a two-level directional interchange with left-hand ramps into a three-level junction with new flyovers and all movements from the right. The $48.2-million first stage included construction of the three-lane flyover from I-184 west to I-84 east and the expansion of the Boise Connector to six lanes. The second phase of the overall $86-million road work included the addition of separate Franklin Street off-ramps for Interstate 184 east independent of the freeway mainline, eliminating weaving traffic.1,2,3

Speed limits on the Boise Connector were increased from 55 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour on October 30, 2012.4


Interstate 184 east
Interstate 184's eastbound beginning departs from the left-hand side of Interstate 84 east at Exit 49. A three-level directional interchange, the "Flying Wye", facilitates the movements between the two freeways. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Separate ramps for Franklin Road (Exit 1A) depart from both ramps connecting Interstate 84 with I-184. Franklin Road travels east-west through a commercial district anchored by Boise Towne Square mall. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Exit 1A passes over the ramp from Interstate 84 west to Interstate 184 east before combing with the Exit 1A off-ramp from that movement as part of a 2004 upgrade to the Flying Wye interchange. Franklin Road travels west to Idaho 55 (Eagle Road) and the community of Beatty and east to the Morris Hill and Central Bench neighborhoods of south Boise. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Interstate 184's first shield stands within the median of the freeway after the two I-84 ramps combine. Photo taken 08/31/06.
A second Interstate 184 reassurance marker posted ahead of the Franklin Road folded-diamond interchange. Photo taken 08/31/06.
The Boise Mountains rise along the northern horizon as Interstate 184 passes over Franklin Road. The freeway carries six lanes into the capital district. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Next in line for eastbound drivers is the Exit 2 diamond interchange with Curtis Road. Curtis Road meets Interstate 184 near St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center at the freeway's eastern turn along Fairview Avenue. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Emerald Street passes over Interstate 184 east one half mile west of the Curtis Road off-ramp. Curtis Road leads south to Morris Hill and north to Winstead Park as a four-land divided arterial. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Exit 2 departs Interstate 184 east for Curtis Road. Curtis Road turns northeast across Settlers Canal into Garden City where it meets U.S. 20 & 26 (Chinden Boulevard). Veterans Memorial Parkway continues the arterial northeast to Veterans Memorial State Park and State Street. Photo taken 08/31/06.
A direct ramp links drivers from Fairview Avenue eastbound onto Interstate 184 east beyond the Exit 2 diamond interchange. Photo taken 08/31/06.
The Fairview Avenue on-ramp forms an auxiliary lane to Exit 3 for the eastbound frontage road from Orchard Street to Chinden Boulevard (U.S. 20 & 26) and the continuation of Fairview Avenue into downtown. Photo taken 08/31/06.
A pull-through sign for Interstate 184 was attached to the Orchard Street overpass; it was replaced by 2011 with a brown guide sign referencing Bogus Basin Recreation Area for River Street.
There is no direct access to Orchard Road, but the adjacent frontage road ties in with the U.S. 20 & 26 onto the freeway end beyond the Boise River. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Eastbound at the Exit 3 ramp departure for Fairview Avenue east across the Boise River into downtown. U.S. 20 & 26 merge onto Interstate 184 from Chinden Boulevard via a wye interchange. Photo taken 08/31/06.
U.S. 20 & 26 pass underneath Interstate 184 and merge from the right ahead of the Boise River. A viaduct carries the trio one-half mile east to River Street (unnumbered exit) to West Downtown. The freeway ends at 13th Street while pull-through signage (since removed) touted the connection of U.S. 20 & 26 East (via Broadway Avenue) south to Interstate 84. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Nearing the River Street off-ramp of Interstate 184 & U.S. 20-26 east. River Street ventures southeast from the freeway to Julia Davis Park through southern reaches of downtown. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Downtown high rises and the Idaho capital dome come into view as Interstate 184 passes over Shoreline Drive. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Motorists bound for River Street east to 16th Street and the Cultural District depart Interstate 184 & U.S. 20-26 east near the freeway end. Drivers remaining on the highway curve toward the one-way street couplet of Myrtle Street (East) and Front Street (west).
All guide signs displayed here were replaced by 2011 and the panel for River Street now references Bogus Basin as well. Photo taken 08/31/06.
The freeway elevates for a final time above 15th and 16th Streets on the approach to Central Downtown and the signalized intersection with 13th Street. Photo taken 08/31/06.
All traffic is slowed to 35 mph as the freeway nears the transition into Myrtle Street east. U.S. 20 & 26 follow Myrtle Street to Broadway Avenue at the East End of Downtown. Photo taken 08/31/06.
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Descending from the 15th Street viaduct to 13th Street, 12 blocks from the capitol dome. Photos taken 08/31/06.
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Interstate 184 ends; U.S. 20 & 26 continue along Myrtle Street east. 13th Street heads north from Shoreline Park on the Boise River to The Marketplace district. Photos taken 08/31/06.
Interstate 184 west
Interstate 184 begins and carries U.S. 20 & 26 from Front Street to Chinden Boulevard west at Garden City. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Peering north from the Interstate 184 & U.S. 20-26 westbound viaduct over 15th and 16th Streets at north Boise with the Boise Mountains in the background. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Interstate 184 & U.S. 20-26 west flatten out on the approach to the Boise River crossing. The freeway overall carries six lanes of travel. Photo taken 08/31/06.
The easternmost off-ramps in each direction are unnumbered. This includes the U.S. 20 & 26 split with Interstate 184 west via a wye interchange with Chinden Boulevard.
This sign was replaced by 2011 and now Curtis Road is abbreviated. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Still devoid of any Interstate 184 reassurance shields, the one-half mile sign bridge for U.S. 20 & 26 west includes a trailblazer for Interstate 84. The ramp to Chinden Boulevard does not provide access to the parallel streets of Fairview Avenue or Main Street. Instead U.S. 20 & 26 emerge along a commercial arterial at 31st Street. The tandem continue northwest through Garden City. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Interests to the Western Idaho Fairgrounds should take U.S. 20 & 26 (Chinden Boulevard) west to junction Idaho 44 in Garden City. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Fairview Avenue spans the Boise River on a concrete arch bridge just north of the freeway. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Interstate 184's first reassurance sign appears adjacent to the U.S. 20 & 26 ramp departure for Chinden Boulevard. Chinden Boulevard meets Orchard Street nearby, a north-south through road linking Hillcrest and Interstate 84 (Exit 52) with Morris Hill in Boise. U.S. 20 & 26 otherwise continue west to Interstate 84 at Caldwell. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Main Street becomes Fairview Avenue west of the Boise River and briefly parallels Interstate 184 west between U.S. 20 & 26 and Curtis Road. An on-ramp brings motorists onto the freeway from the adjacent road.
Signs pictured here were replaced by 2011, with the left panel displaying "West I-84 / 184". Photo taken 08/31/06.
Next in line for westbound drivers is the Exit 2 diamond interchange with Curtis Road. Only 2.5 miles separate the freeway from Interstate 84 at this point. Photo taken 08/31/06.
A stepped wall occupies the westbound side frontage of Interstate 184 between the Orchard Street overpass and Fairview Avenue eastbound on-ramp overpass. St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center lies south along Curtis Road from Exit 2. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Exit 2 leaves Interstate 184 west for Curtis Road just south of its intersection with Fairview Avenue. Curtis Road constitutes a divided arterial leading north to U.S. 20 & 26 (Chinden Boulevard) in Garden City and south to Morris Hill and Hillcrest. Fairview Avenue continues west through the Winstead Park and West Valley communities of west Boise. Photo taken 08/31/06.
The only stand alone Interstate 184 shield posted along the westbound freeway resides after the Exit 2 on-ramp. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Exit 1B to Cole Road and Boise Town Square mall departs the freeway 1.5 miles mile ahead of the end at Interstate 84. Cole Road travels north-south from Exit 50A/B of Interstate 84 to Winstead Park.
Sign changes made here by 2011 include the installation of a new diagrammatic overhead for Interstate 84 and an upward revision of the distance to the I-184 west end by one half mile. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Following Cole Road is the Exit 1A folded-diamond interchange with Franklin Road, an east-west commercial arterial through west Boise and unincorporated suburbs of Ada County.
A new diagrammatic sign installed here by 2011 replaces the separate panels for Exit 0, featuring new control points of Nampa for I-84 west and Mountain Home for I-84 east. Photo taken 08/31/06.
The directional interchange with Interstate 84 (Exit 0) provides two access points to Interstate 84 west with the arrival of the Franklin Road on-ramp. Interstate 84 skims the southern reaches of the capital city between Meridian and Boise Air Terminal (Gowen Field).
All panels pictured here were replaced by 2011. Again Twin Falls was replaced with Mountain Home while the reference to Ontario was removed. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Three lanes depart Interstate 184 west for Interstate 84 west to the suburbs of Meridian and growing cities of Nampa and Caldwell. Ontario, Oregon lies 50 miles westward. Three lanes also join Interstate 84 east to the airport and Twin Falls.
The lone panel here was replaced by 2011 and a second panel for I-84 west to Nampa added. Photo taken 08/31/06.
Merging onto Interstate 84 east from Interstate 184 west in southwest Boise. Interstate 84 meets Cole Road next on the four-mile drive to Gowen Field. The freeway merges with U.S. 20 & 26 east in five miles and carries U.S. 30 in a hidden fashion through the Interstate 184 end. Photo taken 08/31/06.

Sources:

  1. "Rebuilding the WYE interchange." Idaho Statesman, February 7, 1999.
  2. "Phase 2 will fix danger spots, add amenities." Idaho Statesman, November 25, 2001.
  3. "Speeds will return to normal near Wye." Idaho Statesman, September 5, 2004.
  4. "Speed limit to increase on Boise Connector." Idaho Statesman, October 27, 2012.


Photo Credits:

08/31/06 by AARoads

Page Updated 07-02-2013.