Idaho State Highway 41

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State Highway 41

SH-41 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ITD and WSDOT
Length39.058 mi[1] (62.858 km)
The Washington section is 0.41 mi (0.66 km) long[2]
Major junctions
South end I-90 in Post Falls, ID
Major intersections SH-53 in Rathdrum, ID
SH-54 in Spirit Lake, ID
North end US 2 in Oldtown, ID/Newport, WA
CountryUnited States
StatesIdaho, Washington
CountiesID: Kootenai, Bonner
WA: Pend Orielle
Highway system
  • Idaho State Highway System
SH-40 SH-43
SR 35SR 41 I-82

State Highway 41 (SH-41) is a state highway mostly in the U.S. state of Idaho. It runs from Interstate 90 in Post Falls to U.S. Route 2 on the Washington state line. The northernmost 0.41 miles (0.66 km) of SH-41 run along State Street along the state line, with the southbound lane in the town of Newport, Washington, and the northbound lane in Oldtown, Idaho. The part of the highway in Washington is designated State Route 41 (SR 41).

Route description

SH-41 begins at an interchange with I-90 in Post Falls, Idaho, with its southern ramps using East Seltice Way.[1] The four-lane highway travels north through commercial and residential areas in the northeastern outskirts of Post Falls and reduces to two lanes beyond the city limits. SH-41 travels due north through the Rathdrum Prairie, a rural area with several farms,[3] and crosses the Union Pacific Railroad's Spokane Subdivision via an overpass.[4] The highway then enters the city of Rathdrum and turns northeast, passing residential neighborhoods and several schools. It then turns north to form a short concurrency with SH-53 and cross over the BNSF Railway's Kootenai River Subdivision on a four-lane overpass.[5][6] SH-53 splits from the concurrency near a shopping center to travel west towards Spokane, Washington, while SH-41 turns northeast to leave Rathdrum.[7][8]

The highway travels north towards Spirit Lake along Rathdrum Creek and the eastern shore of Twin Lakes on the outskirts of the Selkirk Mountains. Near the city's eponymous lake, SH-41 intersects SH-54, a connector highway that travels east to Athol and Lake Pend Oreille.[8] The highway travels north through the city of Spirit Lake on 5th Avenue, where it passes a commercial district, and continues northwest into Bonner County. SH-41 turns west to follow Spirit Valley, which divides two arms of the Selkirk Mountains, and passes through the community of Blanchard at the head of another valley. The highway gradually turns north and passes several disconnected sections of the Kaniksu National Forest as it follows the Idaho–Washington state border.[7][9]

SH-41 then turns northwest and descends into the city of Oldtown, Idaho, overlooking the Pend Oreille River. The highway turns north onto State Avenue and travels for several blocks on the Idaho–Washington state border with its northbound lanes in Oldtown, Idaho, and its southbound lanes in neighboring Newport, Washington, where it is designated as Washington State Route 41 (SR 41).[2][10] SH-41/SR 41 travels over the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad and through an industrial area before it terminates at an intersection with US 2.[7][10]

The highway is 39 miles (63 km) long and serves as a western alternative to US 95.[1][11] The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) maintains all of SH-41 within Idaho, while the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) maintains the southbound lanes of the 0.41-mile (0.66 km) section that lies in Washington.[10] Both agencies conduct annual surveys of traffic on segments of the freeway, the results of which are expressed in terms of annual average daily traffic, a measure of traffic volume for any average day of the year. Average traffic volumes in 2019 ranged from a minimum of 2,800 vehicles between Blanchard and Oldtown to a maximum of 26,000 vehicles at the I-90 interchange in Post Falls. The section on the Idaho–Washington state border averaged between 4,400 and 5,000 vehicles in 2019.[12][13]


The Spirit Lake Highway was added to the Idaho state highway system on May 4, 1931, and designated as State Highway 41.[14] The southernmost 6.4 miles (10.3 km) between Ross Point and Rathdrum were paved and oiled by the state government in 1932 with grants from the federal government.[15]

The Post Falls–Coeur d'Alene section of I-90 opened in October 1970 and included an interchange with SH-41 adjacent to its existing terminus at US 10 (now Seltice Way) and Ross Point Road.[16][17] The interchange was rebuilt in the late 1980s to route offramp traffic onto Seltice Way in response to collisions at the closely spaced intersections at the interchange.[18] The state government also added several traffic signals to SH-41 between Seltice Way and Mullan Avenue in 1994 to address increased traffic.[19]

The Washington side of State Avenue, which straddles the state border between Newport, Washington, and Oldtown, Idaho, was originally designated as part of US 2. A separate state highway was created in 1997 by the Washington state legislature and was numbered SR 41 to match the Idaho highway.[20]

Local governments have proposed the expansion of SH-41 between Post Falls and Rathdrum to a four-lane divided highway since the 1990s, drawing opposition from nearby residents.[21] Alternative plans, including upgrading parallel roads to handle higher-speed traffic, were considered by the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization in the 2000s but later rejected.[22][23] A 6-mile (9.7 km) section of the SH-41 corridor was later approved for widening in the late 2010s, with $121 million allocated for construction.[24] Construction began in 2020 and the widened highway with new traffic signals, a wide median, and a railroad overpass is scheduled to fully open in 2022; a new offset single-point urban interchange with I-90 is also planned to begin construction in 2023.[25][26] Funds to widen an additional section were part of a proposed vehicle registration fee increase that was rejected by Kootenai County voters in 2020.[27]

Major intersections

IdahoKootenaiPost Falls0.0000.000Seltice Way / Ross Point RoadSouthern terminus; road continues as Ross Point Rd.
I-90 east – Coeur d'Alene

I-90 west – Post Falls, Spokane
SH-53 east – Sandpoint
South end of SH-53 overlap
SH-53 west – Spokane
North end of SH-53 overlap
Spirit Lake18.13429.184
SH-54 east – Athol
IdahoWashington lineBonnerPend Oreille county lineOldtownNewport line38.66062.217State AvenueSouthern terminus of SR 41
US 2 west (Walnut Street) – Newport City Center

US 2 east – Priest River, Sandpoint
Northern terminus; road continues as State Avenue
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d "Milepoint Log: Route 41" (PDF). Idaho Transportation Department. January 26, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Multimodal Planning Division (January 4, 2021). State Highway Log Planning Report 2020, SR 2 to SR 971 (PDF) (Report). Washington State Department of Transportation. p. 605. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  3. ^ McDermott, Ted (August 22, 2021). "As Rathdrum Prairie disappears, with no plan to save it, some farmers are holding out – for now". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  4. ^ "Idaho Statewide Rail Plan" (PDF). Idaho Transportation Department. June 21, 2013. p. 2-7. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  5. ^ BNSF Subdivisions (PDF) (Map). BNSF Railway. September 1, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  6. ^ Cannata, Amy (March 13, 2008). "Railroad crossing stalled". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  7. ^ a b c Google (April 8, 2022). "State Highway 41" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Idaho Official State Highway Map (PDF) (Map). 1:1,248,000. Idaho Transportation Department. 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  9. ^ Motor Vehicle Use Map: Kaniksu Zone, Idaho Panhandle National Forest (PDF) (Map). United States Forest Service. June 1, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c "Corridor Sketch Summary – SR 41: US 2 Jct (Newport) to Idaho State Line" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. March 19, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  11. ^ Jahns, Megan (November 27, 2017). "Public invited to hearing in CDA on Tuesday (Nov. 28) to discuss upcoming ID-41 changes". Idaho Transportation Department. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  12. ^ "AADT 1999–present". Idaho Transportation Department. 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2022 – via ArcGIS.
  13. ^ "Historic Traffic Counts, 2019". Washington State Department of Transportation. February 2, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022 – via ArcGIS.
  14. ^ Downing, T.A. (April 15, 1937). "Designated Federal and State Highways Minute Book 09". Idaho Bureau of Highways. p. 32. Retrieved October 3, 2018 – via Idaho State Archives.
  15. ^ "More Projects Under U. S. Aid". The Spokesman-Review. August 11, 1932. p. 9. Retrieved April 8, 2022 – via
  16. ^ Davis, Jan (October 23, 1970). "Interstate 90: Link Dedicated". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. B3. Retrieved April 9, 2022 – via
  17. ^ "Interchange Planned". Spokane Daily Chronicle. June 18, 1969. p. A3. Retrieved April 9, 2022 – via
  18. ^ Ballard, Dave (July 18, 1983). "Highway 41 and Seltice Way: It's a dangerous intersection". The Spokesman-Review. p. 1. Retrieved April 9, 2022 – via
  19. ^ Lynn, Adam (March 9, 1994). "Highway crews begin work on traffic trouble spot". The Spokesman-Review. p. B1. Retrieved April 9, 2022 – via
  20. ^ "Chapter 155: Designating State Route 41" (PDF). Session Laws of the State of Washington, 1997. Washington State Legislature. April 23, 1997. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  21. ^ Boggs, Alison (September 24, 1998). "Opposition ties up Idaho road". The Spokesman-Review. p. B3. Retrieved August 14, 2021 – via
  22. ^ Honegger, Mary Jane (June 14, 2007). "KMPO board seeks input". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  23. ^ Davenport, Paula (August 9, 2007). "Neighbors vow bypass fight". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  24. ^ McDermott, Todd (January 20, 2020). "Getting There: Big changes underway in Kootenai County to keep crowded roads from clogging". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  25. ^ "ID-41 Expansion: Mullan to Boekel Construction, 2020–2022" (PDF). Idaho Transportation Department. March 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  26. ^ Passaro, Jennifer (May 30, 2020). "'Dysfunction junction'". Coeur d'Alene Press. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  27. ^ McDermott, Ted (November 4, 2020). "Kootenai County voters overwhelmingly reject local fee for road projects". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved April 8, 2022.

External links