More on District 6
Designer Jeremy Hunting determines cut and fill quantities.
District 6 is part of the Division of Highways of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), formed by the Legislature in 1974.
The district is the second largest by land area and road miles, covering 18,588 square miles or 23 percent of the state and including 990 highway miles, approximately 20 percent of the state system. The district maintains a total of 2,302 lane miles (lanes of road, on- and off-ramps, etc.) and 358 bridges.
District 6 is the third largest by population, with 207,000 residents or 13 percent of the state. Terrain includes plains, valleys and mountains, with highlands boasting eight of the 12 highest mountain passes in Idaho.
District headquarters is at 206 North Yellowstone Highway south of Rigby in Jefferson County, where Blake Rindlisbacher is district (head) engineer. Former Idaho legislator Lee Gagner, of Idaho Falls, represents District 6 on the Idaho Transportation Board.
The district includes engineers, designers, drafters, surveyors, inspectors, technicians, operators, mechanics, clerks, buyers, trainers, planners and managers -- 167 people in all -- who plan, design, construct and maintain state roads and bridges in eastern Idaho.
Managers are Rindlisbacher; Karen Hiatt, engineering manager; Ken Hahn, maintenance operations manager; Nancy Luthy, administration manager; and Bill Shaw, planning and public involvement supervisor.
Construction engineers are Wade Allen and Matt Davison. David Alvarez is project development engineer and Paul Steele is materials engineer.
In addition to the district office at 206 North Yellowstone Highway south of Rigby, District 6 has six field offices for maintenance crews.
Office staff members double as snowplow drivers or roadblock monitors when required by storms. Field staff members double as construction inspectors in the summer. The district has the second fewest employees of any district in the highway division.
Eastern Idaho continues to grow. French company Areva Inc. plans a $2 billion uranium enrichment plant west of Idaho Falls, and Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg announced an increase in enrollment from 11,500 to 15,000 students per semester.
Established employers such as the Idaho National Laboratory and Melaleuca Inc. continue major operations, and the region’s agricultural base remains robust.
Commercial vehicles traveled 141 million miles of District 6 highways in 2010 (latest figures), while passenger cars/pickups traveled 868 million miles.
The area hosted 202,091 registered vehicles and 133,902 licensed drivers in 2010.
Mountain passes include Willow Creek (elev. 7,178 ft.), Gilmore (elev. 7,186 ft.), Lost Trail (elev. 7,008 ft.), Bannock (elev. 7,684 ft.), Monida (elev. 6,823 ft.), Raynolds (elev. 6,836 ft.), Targhee (elev. 7,077 ft.) and Pine Creek (elev. 6,764 ft.). Galena (elev. 8,743 ft.), the highest mountain pass in the state, lies in District 4.
The countryside of east Idaho includes rivers, streams and lakes, including the 18-mile long Palisades Reservoir, which is located on the South Fork of the Snake River about 60 miles east of Idaho Falls.
Financial and educational underpinnings continue strong, reflecting a diversified economy and modern culture. The area offers numerous recreational opportunities in a family-friendly environment.