The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council, which serves cities, counties and highway districts throughout Idaho, is about embark on something it doesn't have much experience with — hire a new administrator.
Joe Haynes announced recently that he will retire in September from the position he’s held the past 13 years. He is the only administrator the public agency has had and was instrumental in drafting legislation that created LHTAC in 1994.
Cities and counties had long sought a stronger and coordinated voice in the planning and development of road and highway systems that were not part of the state transportation system. Nearly 13 years after the concept was first discussed, the Idaho Legislature voted to create LHTAC in 1994.
Council members took the short approach to filling the position of administrator – they called on Haynes, a consultant working for J-U-B Engineering who helped lay the foundation for LHTAC.
“It’s been an interesting and enjoyable job,” he said. “Everybody has the same problems with roads – flat revenue, high inflation, increasing congestion, rising maintenance costs…”
Haynes’ retirement will close a 40-year career in engineering that dates to college days when he worked on a U.S. Forest Service survey crew. A licensed professional engineer, he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Idaho in 1965. He spent seven years with the Federal Highway Administration, including assignments in the Midwest, and worked for J-U-B 22 years at its operations in Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Boise.
Born in Dover, Haynes has lived in the Boise area for 24 years. Although many of his offspring and seven grandchildren live in northern Idaho, Haynes and his wife plan to remain in the Treasure Valley. Retirement will enable him to continue his favorite pursuits – “spoiling my grandchildren,” fly fishing, golf, woodworking and camping.
“I don’t think we’ll have to much trouble keeping busy,” he said.
LHTAC represents 288 vastly different constituents throughout Idaho, from the Ada County Highway District in the Treasure Valley to a small district in north-central Idaho that has no Internet connectivity, no fax line and no telephone. The initial legislative charge that outlined 10 primary responsibilities for LHTAC has not changed, Haynes said; they’re as valid and as appropriate today as they were in 1994.
Generally, they include providing technical assistance to about 200 cities, 33 counties and 64 independent highway districts in Idaho and assisting with the development and design of road/highway projects that involve federal aid funding.
The council consists of nine elected officials, three each from the constituent groups, cities, counties and highway districts. By statute, no two members can represent the same geographic region. LHTAC also has three ex-officio members – the directors of the Association of Idaho Cities, Association of Idaho Counties, and the Association of Highway Districts.