The Sand Creek Byway in Sandpoint will open to traffic this morning, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
Crews will prepare the road and remove barriers for northbound traffic on the roadway by about 8:30 a.m. By 9 a.m., both northbound and southbound lanes are expected to be open.
Crews then will turn their attention to the bike and pedestrian trail along Sand Creek. Everything is expected to be open for use by midafternoon, the agency said.
The new route for U.S. Highway 95 cost $106.5 million to build. It’s the most expensive state highway project ever in Idaho.
The 2-mile shortcut around Sandpoint is aimed at relieving downtown of traffic congestion.
Construction began in late 2008. The contractor is Parsons RCI of Sumner, Wash.
Dad convicted of abusing his infant daughter
A Spokane father has been convicted of severely abusing his infant daughter.
Tyler L. Jamison, 20, has been in the Spokane County Jail since April 2010, when his 2-month-old daughter, SkyeLynn, suffered what Spokane police initially feared would be fatal injuries. She has since been adopted through a foster family.
A jury convicted Jamison of first-degree assault last week after a trial before Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno.
Jamison is to be sentenced Sept. 28. He remains in jail without bail.
Meghann M. Cuniff
Officer breaks window to free dog inside hot car
An officer from the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service broke a wing window on a car parked at the Spokane Valley Mall this week to rescue a dog left inside by the owner.
Justin D. Dalton was charged with unsafe confinement, a misdemeanor, and animal cruelty in the second degree, a gross misdemeanor.
Animal Protection Officer Francie Rapier was dispatched to the mall on Tuesday on a report of a dog left inside a vehicle in the sun. When she arrived, she found a basset hound panting inside with the windows rolled down about an inch.
Unable to get into the vehicle, Rapier said she decided to break a wing window so she could open the door and free the dog, according to a news release. The temperature inside had reached 114 degrees.
The incident comes following an aggressive publicity effort by SCRAPS to warn pet owners not to leave animals trapped inside parked vehicles this time of year.