Idaho State University officials announced that a berm will be built below the “I” on Red Hill beginning in the New Year.
After contracted studies were completed the University determined it will be safer and less expensive to build a berm rather than a fence as a safety barrier below the “I” and the eroded hillside of Red Hill.
“Earlier we discussed building a fence below the ‘I,’ but after further study it was recommended to build a berm because it is more cost-effective, provides a higher degree of safety and will blend in better with the hillside,” said Phil Moessner, associate vice president for ISU Facilities.
The study also determined there is great deal of instability below the “I.” A committee comprised of ISU employees, alumni and student leaders, and community members is continuing to work on determining how to resolve the instability and how the “I” might be replaced.
A final design for the berm will be approved in mid-December and then construction of the berm will go out to bid. Once the contract is awarded, likely in January, the start of the construction will be dependent on the weather, which may begin later in the winter or spring.
All trails will remain closed below the “I” until construction of the berm is complete.
A series of studies completed earlier this year concluded the “I” is a safety risk because it is cracked, unstable and there is extensive erosion below and around it. Because of that and other erosion issues on the hill, the trails were closed.
“The University’s first priority is to ensure the safety of ISU students, employees and visitors, and we are working to reopen the trails as soon as possible,” Moessner said.