ITD receives two AASHTO President's Awards for
I-84/Vista Interchange, enhancements to 511 system

Idaho’s Interstate 84/Vista Avenue Interchange project and the state’s 511 Traveler Services system earned some of the highest awards given by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Both efforts were honored with AASHTO President’s Transportation Awards during the organization’s 2010 annual meeting held in Biloxi, Miss., Oct. 31.

“Idaho was the only state in the nation to receive two awards from the American Association of State Transportation Officials at its annual meeting last month,” said Jeff Stratten, ITD public information officer. “This is the first time Idaho has won more than one annual AASHTO award.”

A team led by ITD’s Jason Brinkman and Wade Christiansen received a President’s Transportation Award for Highways for the design of Idaho’s first Single-Point Urban Interchange (SPUI) at Interstate 84 and Vista Avenue.

ITD’s 511 team earned a President’s Transportation Award for transforming Idaho’s 511 Traveler Services system in to one of the most robust and innovative in the nation.

Idaho’s first SPUI
For more than 40 years, the I-84/Vista Interchange served as gateway to Boise, Idaho’s capital city. It also was the city’s primary access to the city’s airport, the Idaho National Guard air base, Boise State University and the downtown city center.

Built in 1969 as a standard, diamond interchange with two traffic signals, the interchange was no longer able to handle current traffic. It was deemed a safety concern and stood as an impediment to expansion of the interstate.

The project team accomplished much by designing Idaho’s first SPUI in just nine months, coordinating with two separate design teams already working on I-84 widening and solving utility conflicts with 15 separate entities.

The team successfully reduced right-of-way needs and kept major business near the project from suffering negative impacts. Access to Boise’s airport also was improved.

Construction of the new interchange took only one year, with minimal impacts to safety, traffic flow, surrounding businesses and the airport.

511 service upgrade
Idaho’s 511 team led transformation of the state’s rudimentary traveler’s service system and into one of the most comprehensive in the nation.

“With more than 5,000 miles of state highways that traverse river valleys, steep mountain passes and expansive high desert plains, it is critical motorists have access to the most current and comprehensive travel information,” said ITD Director Brian Ness in a nomination letter to AASHTO.

The 511 team partnered with 10 other states to fund the enhanced 511 operating system and develop low- and high-bandwidth websites.

The group oversaw installation of 132 cameras across the state for a firsthand view of highway conditions. Each camera location also includes weather conditions such as temperature, wind speed and direction. Motorists can access the 511 system by phone, through computer-based Web access and mobile web devices.

The 511 team also guided development of website components s for Idaho’s mountain passes, truckers and transit users, and coordinated with law enforcement to make the system capable of broadcasting Amber Alerts.

I-84/Vista Interchange team members
Jason Brinkman Idaho Transportation Department, GARVEE Office
Wade Christiansen Idaho Transportation Department, District 3 Office
Dave Butzier, Connecting Idaho Partners
Bob Jacobs Stanley Consultants
Rex Hansen American Geotechnics
Dave Aizpitarte Bionomics Environmental Inc.
Phil Hartsfield Gorven Engineering, Inc.
Karen Doherty HDR Inc.
Stephanie Bennett, The Langdon Group

511 Traveler Services team members
Greg Laragan Idaho Transportation Department
Bob Koeberlein Idaho Transportation Department
Alison Lantz Idaho Transportation Department
Tony Ernst Idaho Transportation Department
Bryan Smith Idaho Transportation Department
Mel Coulter Idaho Transportation Department
Kathy Bessey Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Peter Davies Castle Rock Consulting
Kristin Virshbo Castle Rock Consulting

Published 11-12-2010