The needs are great and the resources limited. That was the message members of the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council delivered to the Idaho Transportation Board when it met in Boise Dec. 17. The report on the Local Rural Highway Investment Program indicates the program remains extremely valuable for local jurisdictions although it addresses only a portion of the needs.
In 2009, LHTAC received 96 project proposals but because of resource limitations was able to fund only about a third of them (33), including two emergency projects, according to the report.
The rural highway investment program was established by policy and allows local entities to exchange Local Federal-Aid Surface Transportation Program Rural apportionments for State Highway Account dollars. The intent is to provide small cities, counties and highways districts an opportunity to improve the investment in their public highway and street infrastructure.
Three basic types of projects are eligible in this program: construction, signs, and transportation plans. LHTAC provided information on some of the projects completed this year and also projects planned for next year.
This “before” picture shows a South Latah Highway District road before it was improved.
Through the Local Rural Investment Program, the Highway District received $100,000 to improve the road, as seen in the “after” picture, below. The total cost of the project was $117,500, with the local entity funding the additional costs.
$100,000 in emergency funds were provided to Clearwater County to repair Dent Road (below)
And $100,000 to Shoshone County to fix Calder Park Road
Other board discussion
Commercial Vehicle Services proposed rule change
The board approved allowing an overall length of 95 feet on the blue routes indicated on the map. The current length allowed was 90 feet. Staff researched the effects of the longer combination vehicles on the routes and determined the routes can accommodate the 95-foot length. This change will enable the trucking industry to more effectively and efficiently use its equipment without jeopardizing safety. Most of the “blue” routes are in District 2.
Strategic Plan activities
An employee survey was conducted almost a year ago. In conjunction with the Investing in Our People initiative, the division focused on the issues the employees identified in that survey. Another activity has been to improve the working environment. The division is housed in an auxiliary modular building and some improvements have been made to the facility.
Leading Through Agency Performance activities included building and maintaining processes and building a coordinated system across the state, which has resulted in sharing information and improved transparency.
An Expanding and Enhancing Partnerships activity was a collaborative effort with the Community Transit Association of Idaho (CTAI) to provide a single voice across the state for mobility and transit. The division also has been involved with vehicle inspections to ensure that providers meet required safety standards.
More communication and technology were provided to Improve Customer Service, not only to the public transit providers, but also the users of the public transportation systems. Transit information also was included in the 511 system.