The Idaho Legislature, in 2003, approved a pilot project allowing trucks with a gross vehicle weight of up to 129,00 pounds on specified state highways. It is a 10-year project that calls for ITD to submit periodical reports on the impacts of the increased weights.
Because the Idaho Legislature does not have authority on Interstate routes, the Right Truck for Idaho Coalition was formed to seek Congressional authority to expand the pilot project to select interstates.
The coalition informed the Idaho Transportation Board of its proposal when the board met in Boise on Feb. 20.
The proposed routes are in southern Idaho and would connect with the state routes already identified in the pilot project. The group contends that expanding the pilot project would reduce the number of trucks on the interstates.
The coalition reported that most of the Congressmen contacted indicated their support for expanding the project. House Transportation Chairman Jim Oberstar indicated that a funding mechanism may be incorporated to provide financial assistance if the interstate routes are damaged because of the additional weight. The group has been working with ITD staff on the proposal and wants to ensure the pilot project is acceptable to the transportation board and department.
Other board discussion
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Modernization Project
The Idaho Smart Roadside System is one of the projects continuing in modernizing process. This partnership project with Idaho State Police provides cameras, coupled with a virtual weigh station, that increase international inspections of commercial vehicles.
Automated facilities were installed on Idaho 1 and U.S. 95 in Boundary County. The cameras capture vehicle specific information that can be viewed in real time via the Internet or stored for roadway data analysis. Some of the captured information includes a vehicle’s length, speed and date and time of travel.
Additional DMV Modernization projects under way or planned in the near future include the digital image exchange, the drivers’ license reinstatement improvements, upgrading the county network and the performance registration information system.
Annual Safety Rest Areas and Oasis Partnerships Program
A team composed of Headquarters and district personnel reviews the rest area program and makes recommendations. An overview on partnerships, including efforts to address invasive species, and various projects also was provided. Following is a briefing on projects planned in 2008:
Board members offered their support to make the facilities more energy efficient and easy to maintain. The board also approved the annual rest area planning map and status report.