ITD identifies more than 120 efficiencies,
saves more than $18 million in savings in 2008
ITD implemented more than 120 efficiency measures, saving millions of dollars in 2008, according to a report issued by the agency this week.
The 2008 Idaho Transportation Department Efficiency Report outlines cost-cutting measures completed in 2008 and identifies future efforts.
"The report details how our employees are improving customer service, cutting red tape, solving problems and saving money," Pamela Lowe, director of the Idaho Transportation Department, said.
The largest savings came through the department's no-frills plan to meet the state's transportation needs while cutting costs. In 2008, more than $18 million was saved by using Practical Design to plan and build highway projects - $13 million more in savings than was projected. Engineers and planners now make project decisions on what is needed rather than applying generic standards across the board.
"It's like buying a car," Lowe said. "You might like leather seats, but cloth seats will do and save money. You can spend that money on something else."
Using the traditional approach to designing highway projects often incorporates features that go above what is needed, Lowe explained.
"Why resurface the shoulder of a road if it is the lanes that need work?" Lowe said.
She emphasized that the quality and safety of Practical Design projects are not compromised.
"We will never compromise quality or safety on our projects," Lowe said. "And every dollar saved through Practical Design is going back to the roads to improve our highways."
Other cost-cutting efforts in the report include:
$7.8 million saved by redesigning five rest area projects
$47,000 saved by reducing travel
$520,000 saved by using print-on-demand license decals
$42,500 saved by introducing new online services for driver licenses and hazardous waste permits
$174,000 saved by flattening 29 acres of highway slopes to make them farmable
$3 million saved by allowing contractors to bid either asphalt or concrete for highway surfaces
$1,700 saved by inverting airport windsocks after one side wears out
A copy of the report can be downloaded at itd.idaho.gov