Idaho Transportation

Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707
Fax: 208.334.8563

WGI/CH2M HILL team selected to manage landmark $1.2 billion Idaho Highway program

Washington Group International, a leading international engineering, construction, and management-solutions company, and CH2M HILL, a global full service engineering, construction, and operations firm, announced this week that their team has been selected to manage a landmark transportation program for the state of Idaho.

Connecting Idaho Partners, a joint venture of Washington Group and CH2M HILL, led by WGI, will manage the Idaho Transportation Department's $1.2 billion, six-year "Connecting Idaho-GARVEE" highway improvement program.

The program consists of 13 segments covering more than 250 miles of highway throughout the state. Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne announced his vision for the program in his January State of the State address as a way to improve highway safety and expand commerce. The state legislature approved the program in April 2005.

'This selection allows our companies to continue our commitment to deliver high-quality and cost-effective transportation infrastructure to the citizens of Idaho.'

– Michael Kennedy, CH2M HILL

"As companies with deep roots in Idaho, Washington Group and CH2M HILL are delighted to apply our program management experience and technical strengths to an effort that will make our roads safer and more efficient," said Stephen G. Hanks, Washington Group president and chief executive officer.

"This selection allows our companies to continue our commitment to deliver high-quality and cost-effective transportation infrastructure to the citizens of Idaho," said Michael Kennedy, president of CH2M HILL's Transportation Business Group.

The firms of Connecting Idaho Partners have successfully completed more than 100 transportation projects in Idaho within the past 10 years in all parts of the state, delivering nearly $500 million in highway improvements. The joint venture's program management office will be located in Boise and will be staffed with Idaho-based transportation leaders.

"We will draw on our understanding of the state's transportation network and our legacy of national highway program management expertise to bring innovation and a streamlined approach to the program," said Hanks.

Maximizing opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and Idaho-based consultants and contractors to participate in the program's design and construction work is an important program feature.

More than 100 engineering and construction contracts are expected to be awarded during the life of the program, with a focus to size these contracts to optimize participation by Idaho-based firms in their planning, design and construction.

The state will finance the projects through the sale of GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds that will be repaid from future federal highway funds allocated to Idaho. Prior to issuing bonds, the Idaho Transportation Department is required to obtain legislative approval for each specific bond as part of the department's annual budget request.

Connecting Idaho Partners combines the strengths of two of the nation's largest program management, design and construction firms – the nation's No. 1 (CH2M HILL) and No. 4 (Washington Group International) program managers as ranked by Engineering News-Record in 2005. They have managed and delivered large and innovative transportation programs across the country including ones in Colorado, Virginia and New Mexico.

"In addition to transportation programs, this team brings expertise in cost effectively managing some of the most complex programs in the nation, such as the management and closure of the Idaho Cleanup Project at the Idaho National Lab. This experience ensures that the best practices will support delivery of the Connecting Idaho Program," said Kennedy.

Headquartered in Denver, employee-owned CH2M HILL ( is a global firm providing engineering, construction, operations, and related technical services to public and private clients.

With more than $3 billion in revenue, CH2M HILL is an industry leading program management, construction-management-for-fee, and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2005). The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of transportation, water, energy, environment, communications, construction, and industrial facilities.

CH2M HILL has more than 15,000 employees in 450 offices worldwide. CH2M HILL has maintained an office in Boise since 1950 and has a current staff of nearly 200.
Washington Group International, Inc. ( provides the talent, innovation, and proven performance to deliver integrated engineering, construction, and management solutions for businesses and governments worldwide.

With approximately 25,000 employees at work in more than 30 countries, the company provides professional, scientific, management and development services in more than two dozen major markets, including:

  • Transportation, power generation, transmission and distribution, and clean air solutions;
  • Environmental remediation;
  • Heavy civil construction;
  • Mining;
  • Nuclear services;
  • Defense, homeland security, and global threat reduction;
  • Industrial, chemical, and pharmaceutical processing;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Facilities operations and management; and
  • Water resources

Published 11-4-05