will help shape transportation future
Unique opportunities require unique approaches and solutions. That became evident when we looked at our options for managing what will become one of the largest transportation investment initiatives in Idaho history.
The advent of Connecting Idaho, funded by GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds, demands that we step outside the box to create a new strategy for administering the program. It includes an investment of $1.2 billion in 13 corridors, and is built on unique agreements and partnerships within the department, with the Federal Highway Administration and with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.
We took a major step in September with the appointment of Nestor Fernandez to serve as ITD’s administrator of this program. He is applying the experience of a 22-year career in transportation (the past seven in consultant administration and local roads engineering) to his new assignment. With responsibility for managing more than $30 million annually in professional service agreements, he was a solid choice to be the Connecting Idaho program administrator, supported by unique leadership teams.
At the same time, we looked externally for a private company or partnership to manage the GARVEE-bonded program. After a process that included unique technical reviews, oral interviews and specifications review, the board selected the Washington Group International/CH2M HILL partnership to be our private-sector partner.
This selection focused on creativity and the uniqueness of what the private sector brings to the table, as opposed to the traditional engineering skills that we have focused on for years.
We continue to meet the schedule proposed in February as we prepare to discuss the first-round of bonding with the Legislature this winter. We also will benefit from the new partnership as WGI/CH2M HILL works with us to streamline processes and project delivery.
I am excited and encouraged by these major developments in the Connecting Idaho process and look forward to what we will achieve together.