Board trims GARVEE funding request by $19 million
The Idaho Transportation Board Wednesday (Jan. 6) revised its recommendation for bonding authority next year to finance expansion of the state's highways from $45 million to $26 million because of savings in the program.
The bond request is part of the GARVEE Transportation Program approved by the Idaho Legislature. The reduced 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.
In October, the transportation board approved a $45 million bonding authority request to:
Complete the financing of Interstate 84 expansion from the Franklin Interchange to the Garrity Interchange
Purchase remaining right-of-way parcels for extension of Idaho 16 from Idaho 44 to U.S.20/26, and
Widen four miles of U.S. 95 and add frontage roads in the Chilco area.
The I-84 project was estimated to cost $48 million, but the projection was recently lowered to $32 million due to current construction costs and lower-than-anticipated bids on other projects. The lower estimate will allow the I-84 project to be constructed entirely with savings.
"These savings combined with a lower estimate on the I-84 project allowed the board to re-evaluate the bonding authority needed to finance the next series of projects," said Scott Stokes, acting director of the department.
Approximately $55.5 million in bid savings were realized on projects on Interstate 84 and U.S. 30 since early 2009.
The Idaho Legislature approved $681 million in bond authorizations to date. Approximately $560 million in contracts have been issued through December for the design, purchase of right of way and improvement of the state's highways and bridges. An additional bond sale of $84 million from a previous authorization is being completed this week.
"The competition among contractors combined with the low interest rates makes this an ideal time to continue using GARVEE bonds to improve our roads and bridges and keep Idahoans working," said Darrell Manning, chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board. "This request continues the momentum we have achieved in rebuilding U.S. 95 and planning for the extension of Idaho 16."
The $26 million bond request, combined with prior authorizations of other GARVEE projects, would finance or complete the financing for the following:
Idaho 16 – Purchase of remaining right of way parcels for extension of Idaho 16 from Idaho 44 to U.S. 20/26 – $11 million.
U.S. 95 – Reconstruction and widening of four miles of U.S. 95 in the Chilco area and construction of frontage roads – $14 million.
Program management – $1 million.