A turning point for Idaho transportation
The Idaho Legislature approved a plan this week that I believe history will record as a major turning point in the state’s transportation system. Resounding support of Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s visionary Connecting Idaho initiative will provide the tools to transform our transportation system, enabling us to bring to life projects that have been on the drawing boards a long time.
GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonding will enable us to put future federal funds to work today, to complete nearly three decades of projects in the next 10 years. We will do that without adding ITD staff, risking the state’s credit or jeopardizing ongoing transportation programs.
I believe the Legislature read and responded to the pulse of more than 90 percent of the population of this state when it approved the governor’s plan Wednesday. They’re saying that careful risk-taking and use of the tools as they have been presented are the wave of the future.
I can tell you that as I walked the halls of the capitol the past three months, legislators to a person, said it’s not about the transportation industry; it’s not about the department of transportation; it’s not about city and county professionals. It’s about the change in a culture. It’s about innovative financing.
We have an ambitious future immediately in front of us, one filled with challenges and opportunities. I will keep you informed as details come into clearer focus.
The next decade will be one of the most exciting periods
in Idaho transportation history. We have the knowledge, the experience
and people to transform our transportation system. Legislative approval
of Gov. Kempthorne’s Connecting Idaho now gives us some much needed
tools to help make it happen.