Idaho Transportation Board members have expressed concern over steadily escalating right-of-way costs and their impact on highway construction. In response, the transportation department staff will provide a summary of the right-of-way acquisition process, the costs involved and efforts to control those costs when the board meets next week in Boise.
The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in the Headquarters auditorium, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The right-of-way acquisition process includes an appraisal, an appraisal review, document preparation, negotiation, and acquisition. The lead-time of a project can influence the cost of obtaining the property. If a new route or major improvements to an existing route are being considered, speculators may purchase property, hoping the land values will increase.
Other cost factors include the urbanization of the state (land in urban areas generally is more expensive than rural areas) and the public’s increasing awareness and involvement in the process. The public is becoming more informed and expects higher compensation.
ITD staff surveyed other states to determine if measures can be implemented to control costs. An early involvement team to assist districts in reviewing alignment alternatives and identifying right-of-way impacts is one method to help control costs. Other ways include using private-sector acquisition techniques, incentive payments and corridor preservation.
Other board discussion
Valley High Capacity Corridor
With the population growth expected to continue in the Treasure Valley, the developer believes it is imperative to develop a southern bypass and asked the board to consider a corridor preservation partnership for the proposed route. Board members asked staff to discuss the bypass status with the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).
District 3 personnel and a number of local partners will report back to the board Thursday.
Because the GARVEE Program includes a potential Idaho16 connection near McDermott Road, a new emphasis has been placed on a McDermott/Kuna-Mora corridor. COMPASS and the highway districts involved are exploring options for potential jurisdiction if the bypass is created. A determination will need to be made on whether the route should be added to the state highway system or whether it should remain on the local system. Jurisdiction is needed to establish standards for the corridor development.
Some of the standards that need to be considered are access spacing or control, right-of-way widths, lane widths, number of lanes and lane configurations, intersection types, signals, and design speed.
HRS will summarize its activities, including its delegated authority, recruitment, internal Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO), compensation and training and development activities. To be more efficient, the office outsourced defensive driving training, transferred the safety training videos to the T2 Center and purchased pay modeling software.
The report will show ITD’s top five employment categories that are under-represented: white female technicians, white female professionals, Hispanic female technicians, Hispanic males in skilled crafts and white females in skilled crafts.
The Wellness Council will report on last year’s activities. A total of 770 flu shots were given through the Wellness Program in 2007. That was a small decline from the previous year when 779 were given. In addition to the statewide Centennial Trail Exercise Challenge, other fitness opportunities in among the districts included run/walk races and the use of a conference room for exercise during lunch hours.
Education and preventive care, such as diabetes informational presentations, an on-site health screening clinic that evaluated vision, hearing, and blood pressure, and an “eat your vegetables” week, also continue to be a big part of the council’s activities.
A summary of the EEO external programs from Oct. 1, 2006 through Sept. 30, 2007 also will be presented. It will focus on Title VI monitoring, the Americans with Disabilities Act, contract compliance and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program and supportive services.