New I-90 interchange to be first built with STAR funds,"
new design/build authorization
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a new interchange on Interstate 90 at Beck Road in Post Falls. Final approval of the Interchange Justification Report (IJR) hinges on completion of all environmental work for the project.
The IJR recommends a new standard diamond interchange on I-90 at Beck Road. The recommended interchange is supported in the regional and local plans, accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists, and improves traffic operations.
The Beck Road Interchange is the first project in Idaho to use the State Tax Anticipation Revenue (STAR) program to finance a highway improvement project. The Idaho Legislature approved the STAR program in 2007. The program compensates developers who pay for interchanges or highway improvements that access new commercial/retail complexes.
The developer and its consulting engineering firm still must complete an Environmental Assessment and receive approval for a "Finding of No Significant Impacts." Once the environmental process is complete and approved, work will begin on design and construction of the interchange.
The 2010 Idaho Legislature also approved legislation that provides another innovative tool for the design and construction of highway improvement projects. Known as "design/build," it has the potential to streamline the highway improvement process. The developers of the Beck Road Interchange now have that option, according to Damon Allen, ITD’s District 1 engineer.
"We're excited about the possibility of having the first design/build project in District One," Allen said. "We look forward to working with the developer's team through construction of the interchange project."
The interchange will be built to state and federal standards. When completed, the state will assume control over maintenance and operation of the facility.