The growth and development of Idaho Falls, originally known as Eagle Rock, was greatly influenced by the construction of the Utah & Northern Railway when a narrow gauge line, built north from Ogden, Utah, to the mining areas in Montana, was constructed through Eagle Rock in 1879. The first train went over the new bridge across the Snake River on July 1, 1879 and in 1880 they established their main railroad shops in Eagle Rock where they became an important part of the economy providing passenger transportation and freight service for all of the products made and grown in the area.
The history of Idaho Falls and its aviation history have been inextricably entwined for many years. In fact, the first recorded aviation activity in the Idaho Falls area took place in 1911, only eight years after the first airplane flight was made by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina! More than merely a form of transportation, aviation has impacted almost every facet of life in the Idaho Falls area-- agriculture, tourism, postal service, scientific research and development (Idaho National Laboratory), local businesses, community needs, such as medical, law enforcement, search and rescue, personal travel, and recreation, to name a few.
The significance of the city's role in Eastern Region transportation is also shown by the fact that three major routes, I-15, US 20 and US 26 pass through making it the processing and commercial hub for farm, livestock, lumber, steel and dairy in the region.
The Infrastructure Committee ensures that Eastern Idaho's interests are represented in all decisions made regarding infrastructure issues. The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce and Grow Idaho Falls, Inc. have joined forces to form an Infrastructure Coalition which monitors and lobbies for transportation legislation affecting Eastern Idaho as well as host educational forums to inform the Chamber membership on crucial developments regarding transportation issues.