City officials offer appreciation for District 2 services

Members of the Idaho Transportation Board met with officials from the cities of Moscow, Bovill and Lewiston as part of the monthly board tour and business meeting in District 2 last week.

All of the local officials expressed appreciation for the good working relationship they have developed with ITD. They also praised the assistance that District 2 staff provides and thanked the board for recently completed projects in their respective communities.

Some of Moscow’s projects included reconstruction and realignment of Idaho 8 at its intersection with Mountain View Road; an Intelligent Transportation System project that connected a fiber optic communications system between downtown traffic signals, and the installation of approximately 100 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pedestrian ramps throughout the city.

Bovill officials were grateful for the enhancement program funds it received to construct sidewalks in the city. The project has made a big difference to the community, particularly by improving safety for the children, officials told the transportation board.

The city of Lewiston will celebrate its sesquicentennial this year. It has numerous activities planned to commemorate the important milestone. Lewiston has made extensive improvements to the Snake River Avenue corridor, adding amenities through various partnerships, including ITD’s funding of enhancement projects. City leaders continue to focus on the riverfront as an asset.

Other board discussion

Public Transportation report
At the business meeting on Wednesday (April 20), the Public Transportation Advisory Council member from District 2 provided an overview of the transit services provided in the area. Ridership increased last year, and long-range plans are needed to identify where additional services will be needed. Providers are exploring options to expand service, although funding is a major concern. A related challenge is that communities lack tools to obtain revenue.

Moscow city officials would like to be known as a city where a car is not needed. With higher education becoming more expensive, officials would like to ensure that transportation is affordable. They are emphasizing transportation alternatives. A recent federal grant to construct an Intermodal Transit Center will help further “intermodalism.”

External Equal Employment Opportunity annual report
As part of the Title VI activities, reviews of major ITD functions for reporting to the Federal Highway Administration were conducted. The reviews included public involvement, planning, right-of-way and construction. No Title VI complaints were received in FY10.

Board members received an update on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan. All curb ramp and sidewalk inventories have been completed. Inventory of ITD facilities and buildings is still under way. The draft transition plan should be ready for public comment soon. One ADA complaint was filed in FY10 and has been resolved.

In FY10, there were 194 certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) registered with the department. Most (109) were owned by female Caucasians. The next largest representation was Hispanic males (22) and Native American males (19). A total of $251,566,887 in contracts was awarded to prime contractors in FY10. DBEs were awarded $1,724,466 as prime contractors and $13,128,746 as subcontractors.

District 2 report
District Engineer Jim Carpenter provided a summary of District 2 activities over the past year.

The striping crew continues to provide services for other districts, which has been a successful initiative. The crews attempt to complete the striping in a shorter period each year.

Efforts are proceeding to partner with the Nez Perce Tribe on a U.S. 95 rest area near Winchester.

New initiatives being implemented include improvements to the quality and accuracy of construction inspections and consolidation of administrative functions in the residencies.

Contracts are being improved through warranties and performance measures. The district is transitioning to performance-based specifications instead of the current methods of specifications for chip seal projects. Additionally, a corridor safety initiative has been developed to make improvements through measures such as constructing turn bays, rock fall mitigation and hazardous tree removal.

Published 4-29-2011