Board scheduled northern Idaho tour, business meeting

The Idaho Transportation Board will visit several major construction sites north of Coeur d’Alene next week as part of its scheduled tour and business meeting Wednesday and Thursday.

The annual trip to northern Idaho will begin with a tour on Wednesday. The first stop will be at the U.S. 2, Dover Bridge project where a 1937-vintage structure over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks is being replaced. Other scheduled stops on the daylong tour include:

1. The Clark Fork, the group will view the Lightning Creek Bridge project on Clark Fork, and
2. The U.S. 95. Sandpoint North and South project where the three-year, approximately $100 million bypass is progressing on schedule

Thursday (Aug. 19) the board will conduct a regular business meeting at the District 1 office in Coeur d’Alene, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Board members will consider a report on ITD contracts and procurements, performance management and the department’s railroad program.

Contracts and procurements
Every year, the board considers statistics on the procurements and contracts completed by District Supply and Headquarters purchasing staff.

In fiscal year 2010, ITD’s grants and contracts office processed 23,678 purchase orders in the amount of $73,439,409. That total is comparable to the FY09 purchase orders of 23,905 for $73,251,553. In the past two fiscal years, 30 professional services agreements were issued; however, the dollar amount of $888,832 in FY10 was 27 percent higher than that of the previous year.

There were also 74 contracts in the amount of $9,451,627 issued in FY10, which compares to 82 contracts for $6,147,445 in FY09. The 35 percent increase in expenditures is attributed in part to the $3.4 million for the initial contract award for the maintenance management and pavement management software system.

Performance measurement
The department is required by Idaho code to submit to the Division of Financial Management a report describing its performance for FY10 by Sept. 1.

One section of the Performance Measurement Report is to include an agency profile that lists performance highlights and other information. Some of the efficiency and customer service efforts summarized in the report included development of ITD’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP); the on-line flight scheduling and reservation system that allows any state employee to check for and reserve a seat on a scheduled state flight; and development of the 511 transit system that enables users to track transit system routes, bus activity, current schedules, road conditions and other related information.

The second part of the report focuses on performance measures. It reports on measures from 2006 through 2009, and the following benchmarks:

  • the transportation system is safe
  • the system is in good condition and unrestricted
  • services are timely and cost-effective, and
  • the users are satisfied with ITD services

Rail programs
For the past several years, approximately 20 incidents have occurred at Idaho’s public railroad/road crossings annually. During calendar year 2009, however, the number of vehicle-train incidents declined to eight, with three of those occurring in District 1. No fatalities occurred.

Of the 1,440 public railroad-highway crossings in Idaho, 955 are passive (warning signs and pavement markings only) and the other 485 are active (some form of crossing signal).

The budget for the State Rail Program is $250,000 per year. The federal program provides about $1.4 million annually, with a target to reduce vehicle-train incidents. Some of the FY09 projects were the addition of crossing signals with gates and paying half the salary of the state coordinator for Idaho Operation Lifesaver.

Operation Lifesaver assists with traffic law enforcement through coordination with enforcement agencies during events called “Officer on the Train.” It also provides extensive education with the goal of reducing vehicle-train incidents.


Published 8-13-2010