ITD will assume responsibilities for administration of the state’s Safety Rest Area program and districts will be asked to play a major role, announced Highway Operations and Safety Engineer Brent Jennings at the Idaho Transportation Board’s May meeting in Shoshone last week.
Jennings reported the contract with Parametrix, Inc. to manage the program has been terminated and districts will be responsible for project development, construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation work and maintenance of facilities in their respective areas.
Safety rest area projects will be determined through an ongoing statewide needs assessment with consideration given to joint funding and participation with other governmental agencies; the provision of information centers where appropriate; and public/private partnership opportunities.
The program will continue to be funded separately with the amount to be determined by the transportation board. Operation of each facility will be reviewed annually to ensure the desired purposes and services are being provided. The board will retain its authority to close existing rest areas or construct new ones, based on recommendations of the districts and a safety rest area coordinator.
The board approved revisions to Board Policy B-05-14, Safety Rest Areas, reflecting the new guidelines. The corresponding administrative policy also was updated.
Ten Mile Underpass
ITD staff determined the bridge is safe for traffic but only on one lane with weight restrictions. A temporary signal enables northbound and southbound traffic to use the single lane on an alternating basis.
Bridge Engineer Matt Farrar said a plan has been developed to replace the damaged girders that span the westbound interstate, and staff is working on a design package for construction to be completed this fall.
The cost for construction plans and repairs is estimated at $700,000. They will be submitted to the company insuring the vehicle that struck the overpass. The transportation board approved expending $700,000 from the FY08 State Board Unallocated Fund for the repair project, with the understanding that the fund will be reimbursed with the insurance payment.
Presenters outlined three options for the GARVEE Program: continuing the current working plan that totals $998 million; a $463 million program based on the bonding authorized to date plus interest; and a $213 million program funded by the initial $200 million authorized by the legislature (plus interest). The focus was on optimizing construction; plans are based on project readiness. The options are not sequential.
The board took no formal action, which essentially allows ITD to continue its course of planning and implementing the $998 million program sanctioned by the Idaho Legislature.
Forest Highway Program
The consortium met in February to revise the program. It estimates almost $32 million will be available for projects in FY07. The board approved the revised program, which includes projects such as an overlay on Warm Lake Road near Cascade, replacing the Moyie River Bridge in Boundary County near the U.S./Canada border, and improvements such as grading and drainage on Salmon River Road near Riggins.