Local delegations take requests to transportation board
The Idaho Transportation Board considered a wide range of presentations last week when they met with delegations during a two-day visit and business meeting in Coeur d’Alene.
The comments and requests varied. Following is a synopsis of the discussion:
City of Rathdrum: Traffic on its main route, Idaho 41, has increased 153 percent the past decade. City leaders asked the board to fund safety and congestion improvement projects on the state highway. “Bridging the Valley,” which is a major effort to address the numerous railroad crossings in the region, is another city priority. It is applying for federal grants to address the railroad crossing on Main Street. If a grant is secured to construct an underpass, city officials would like the board to provide the local match.
City of Post Falls: City officials want to address safety and congestion on the southern end of Idaho 41, creating another route over or connection to Interstate 90. The city provided the funding to complete an Environmental Impact Statement on the Greensferry Road project, which would relieve traffic on Idaho 41. Upon completion of that document, the city plans to ask the transportation board to fund final design for an overpass or an interchange. Post Falls wants to continue partnering (including financially) with ITD on its transportation needs.
City of Sandpoint: City representatives asked that a meeting be arranged with transportation board member Jim Coleman on a regular basis once construction of the U.S. 95, Sandpoint North and South project gets under way. The $98 million project, planned over four construction seasons, will have a major impact on the community, and city officials want to be kept apprised of the project’s status to mitigate problems.
Bonner County Area Transportation Team: Members expressed the organization’s continued support for the Sandpoint North and South project. They also reiterated support for increasing Idaho’s transportation funding. The team members planned to attend the Transportation Funding Conference in Coeur d’Alene (July 15) and help seek solutions to the funding shortfall.
City of Bonners Ferry: City representatives asked for a reduction in the speed limit on U.S. 95 at the northern and southern end of the community reduced from 60 miles per hour to 45. They also asked the transportation board to consider a future project to address the increasing traffic through town. The mayor encouraged the board to plan for a four-lane facility or a bypass of the town in the future.
Bonners Ferry Airport: Airport officials expressed their appreciation for technical and financial assistance the transportation department has provided, particularly with recent facility improvements. Its next priority is extending the runway and securing an instrument approach landing system.
Other board discussion
2009 Legislative idea review
The transportation board approved submitting all 12 ideas to the Division of Financial Management (DFM). DFM will review the legislative ideas and determine which ones can be pursued. Upon DFM’s approval, staff will draft the actual legislation and then present the legislation to the board for approval in September.