The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) recently recommended authorizing the department to sell $12 million in new GARVEE bonds in Fiscal Year 2011. That recommendation goes to the House and Senate for final approval.
Approval of continued bonding authority for the GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) Program will allow ITD to move forward with right of way purchase for a segment of the Idaho 16 corridor.
ITD anticipates the need to purchase the right of way between U.S. 20/26 (Chinden Boulevard) and Idaho 44 (State Street) for highway construction during calendar year 2011, explains GARVEE Program Manager Jason Brinkman. ITD is committed to selling bonds only as needed.
JFAC’s recommendation removes additional bonding authority that would have been applied to U.S. 95 between Garwood and Sagle north of Coeur d’Alene. The department is awaiting environmental documents for the project.
The GARVEE Program began in 2005 with enabling legislation and received initial bonding authorization a year later. Successive authorizations have enabled ITD to take advantage of low interest rates, prices and bids.
GARVEE projects make it possible for ITD to build safer highways that reduce congestion and decrease travel times, while minimizing construction impacts on the traveling public.
Projects also help stimulate the economy, create or sustain jobs and complete projects much sooner than would be possible otherwise, staying ahead of inflation anticipated in the future.