The Idaho Transportation Board will return to a summer schedule of road meetings when it travels to Lewiston for a tour of local projects and its regular monthly business meeting. The tour is scheduled for Wednesday with the business meeting to follow on Thursday at the District 2 office, 2600 Frontage Road.
Wednesday’s tour will focus on active and proposed projects on U.S. 12, Idaho 162, and U.S. 95 in the Kamiah, Nezperce, and Winchester areas. The schedule includes informal visits with representatives from the cities of Orofino and Nezperce and with Nez Perce Tribal officials near Winchester. The groups will meet at the site of a planned rest area and discuss a partnership for the proposed facility.
Business meeting discussion
Rest Area Joint Venture Agreement with Nez Perce Tribe
ITD had been considering construction of a new rest area on U.S. 95 in the Winchester area. The Nez Perce Tribe proposed combining its plans for a truck stop/convenience store with the department’s plan for a rest area at the same location. The initiative is similar to the partnership with the Flying J Truck Stop in McCammon in southern Idaho’s District 5.
The tribe plans to build the facility this summer. ITD’s share of the project would be approximately $350,000. In comparison, the U.S. 95, Midvale Hill Rest Area was reconstructed last year at a cost of $2.3 million, and the Hagerman Rest Area on U.S. 30 is scheduled to be rehabilitated this year at an estimated cost of $1.4 million.
Statewide Transportation Plan
When complete, the plan will answer the questions, “when we make an investment, where will we get the best return on our money” based on three goals – improving safety, increasing mobility, and supporting economic growth.
Four internal teams have been established that will manage the work efforts to complete the plan. Initial information-gathering meetings are being scheduled throughout the state this month and next month, with a focus on economic issues.
Scenic Byway discretionary funding request
The Scenic Byways Advisory Committee recommends eight projects for FHWA consideration. The request is for $1,408,377 in federal funds. Local entities would provide an additional $481,254.
Recommended projects include signs and kiosks for the Payette River National Scenic Byway and Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway, both in District 3; improving and enhancing the existing wildlife viewing area along the Thousand Springs Scenic Byway in District 4; restoring the Oneida Stake Academy and creating a visitor center for the Pioneer Historic Byway in District 5; and in District 6, constructing a walking/biking trail in Salmon as part of the Sacajawea Historic Byway.