ITD staff will present the FY06-10 Capital Investment Program, which includes projects for all modes, to the transportation board when it meets in Boise next week (Sept. 22-23). The two-day meeting will be at the District 3 office on Chinden Boulevard and will include a tour of several district projects or proposed projects.
Public comments were received on the draft STIP during the comment and review period, July 22- Aug. 16. The document also includes the Connecting Idaho projects – to be funded with Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds.
As part of the GARVEE Program implementation plan, ITD and FHWA staff drafted a memorandum of agreement that outlines the responsibilities of both partners in bringing Connecting Idaho to life.
ITD will maintain overall responsibility and accountability for the projects. The ITD director, FHWA division administrator, the ITD program administrator, and the owner’s agent will meet to review the operation of the Connecting Idaho Program on a quarterly basis.
The agent will be hired to act on behalf of and in the best interest of ITD to ensure that all projects are completed on time, within budget, and in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations. The director also will provide regular reports to the board on accomplishments and activities related to the GARVEE Program.
Other major Transportation Board agenda items
National Scenic Byway and All American Road Designations
Two other Idaho byways were awarded National Scenic Byway designation: Western Heritage Historic Byway in District 3, and the Pioneer Historic Byway in District 5.
Because of the new designations, the byways are eligible for $25,000 in National Scenic Byway funds annually to pay for administrative costs to implement corridor management plans. Other advantages of this designation include the possibility for more project funding and greater national and international recognition through increased marketing. The marketing will help Idaho’s rural economy by expanding tourism.
Idaho’s Scenic Byways are routes designated in a partnership with local entities and several state and federal agencies. The routes enjoy special protection and offer facilities such as turnoffs, overlooks, picnic areas, walkways and campgrounds to the traveling public. Best of all, the roadways pass through some of the most breathtaking and intriguing landscapes in Idaho.
District 3 Board Tour
The board has heard several presentations on the status of the Boise-area facilities. A recent study concluded that the existing Headquarters facilities cannot be efficiently reorganized to meet the current ITD needs. They also do not meet current environmental or code standards. To bring them up to a competitive standard would require major renovation and modification. The operating costs of the current complex are almost double what they should be on a square footage, per-year basis.
The study also stated that, given the age and character of the District 3 site, the access and egress problems associated with the site, its negative impact on neighbors, and the escalated community need for the site, it is appropriate to consider relocating to a more suitably located and valued industrial site.