Transportation board recommends forwarding
$125 million GARVEE bond to Legislature
The Idaho Transportation Board Wednesday recommended issuing another $125 million in bonds next year to finance reconstruction and expansion of the state’s highways and bridges.
The bond request is part of the $998 million GARVEE Transportation Program approved by the Idaho Legislature. The recommendation will be forwarded to Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and must be approved by the Legislature. The program uses Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds to expedite highway improvements.
"This request represents a cautious and prudent approach as we navigate through a period of uncertain federal funding," said Darrell Manning, chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board. "At the same time, it continues the momentum we have achieved rebuilding I-84, U.S. 30 and U.S. 95 and the planning of the Idaho 16 extension."
Congress shifted $8 billion from general revenue to the federal highway trust fund last week to meet a revenue shortfall. The existing transportation bill expires next year, and Congress will need to pass a new bill to finance future highway and bridge projects.
"We asked the department staff to look at very conservative scenarios for future federal funding and recommend a bonding amount based on those scenarios," Manning said. "With this conservative approach, we are confident that Idaho will safely be able to make the future debt payments and contract for the projects that are most ready to begin."
The Idaho Legislature has approved $584 million in bond authorizations to date.
The next request will finance the following construction and project development activities:
Reconstruction and widening of I-84 between the Cole Road and Broadway Avenue interchanges;
Reconstruction of the I-84, Vista Avenue Interchange to allow I-84 widening;
Reconstruction of the bridges at the Garrity Interchange to allow future I-84 widening between the Franklin Boulevard and Garrity Boulevard interchanges in Nampa; and
Final design work for an Idaho 16 extension from Idaho 44 to U.S. 20/26.