Report on use of Practical Design concept
on safety rest areas to be presented
The Practical Design concept of reviewing projects to determine what changes could be made to reduce the project scope and cost without compromising the overall intent of the project or jeopardizing safety has been applied to the Safety Rest Area Program.
In a presentation to the Idaho Transportation Board next week, staff members will elaborate on efforts undertaken to evaluate the rest area facilities programmed in FY09-13. The process focused on the essential elements of purpose and need and used simple design standards that are appropriate to the context of the rest area’s surroundings.
The transportation board will meet Thursday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Headquarters auditorium.
The initial costs for five facilities in the program exceeded $21 million. Close to $8 million in savings was identified by applying principles of practical design. Some of the savings come from:
Reducing landscape features at the Timmerman Rest Area on U.S. 20/Idaho 75;
Performing the majority of design work on the District 4 Hagerman Rest Area within ITD;
Reducing the size of the District 6 Dubois Rest Area on I-15; and
Delaying improvements to the Juniper Rest Area on I-84 because the facility will function several more years at an acceptable level.
Rest area projects will continue to be reviewed and practical design principles applied accordingly. The budget for each facility will start at zero and move forward to reflect essential needs.
Other board agenda items
September 2008 Idaho Highway Users survey
Board members will hear a report on the telephone survey conducted in September by the Idaho Highway Users to assess the impressions of licensed drives in Idaho about the condition of the state’s highways, roads and bridges.
Six hundred Idaho residents with valid drivers’ licenses participated in the survey; 49 percent were male and 51 percent were female. Most of respondents (45 percent) were from District 3. District 2 had the fewest participants (9 percent) with representation fro the other four districts ranging between 11 percent to14 percent.
The estimated weekly average number of trips driven was 10, with very little variance around the state. Respondents younger than 55 made an average of 12 trips per week. This compared to fewer than 10 trips among 55-64 year olds and six trips among residents 65 and older. Respondents with household incomes of below $25,000 made an average of eight weekly drive trips, compared to 11 trips for those with higher incomes.
The survey also inquired about preferences for transportation funding sources. A tax on new developments was the most popular, with 70 percent in favor of that option, followed by 54 percent in favor of allowing local option taxes, and 50 percent in favor of increasing registration fees. A sales tax on gas had the least support, 16 percent.
In District 2, 31 percent thought increasing funding for Idaho’s roads and bridges should be a top priority for the legislature, followed by 27 percent in District 3. Only 10 percent of respondents from District 4 thought transportation funding should be a top priority,
For more information on the survey results, see last week’s Transporter.
Local Asset Management project
The Local Highway Technical Assistance Council (LHTAC) initiated a project in FY04 to create a process to assist local highway jurisdictions in the development of pavement management systems.
Significant progress has been made through the program in advancing scientific pavement management methods for local highway jurisdictions. As part of the $550,000 initially approved for this project, 8,500 miles of pavement information on local roads has been collected.
Unfortunately, the initial project scope was not funded sufficiently. LHTAC will request an additional $506,000 from the Local Rural Program for completion of this management system.