Board to tour District 4 next week

The Idaho Transportation Board will travel to District 4 and Shoshone for its monthly business meeting and tour next week.

The tour begins on the Wednesday when board members will view Interstate 84 construction projects. They will stop at the Hagerman Rest Area for an overview of a recent reconstruction activity. The daylong tour also will include stops at the Buhl Municipal Airport and the transit center in Twin Falls, Trans IV, to learn more about those facilities.

Thursday’s business meeting will include a report on Idaho’s transition to centrally issued driver’s licenses. Payette County will be the first location to implement the new system, beginning Monday (May 16). The program will expand to Ada County the following Monday (May 23).

Instead of receiving a driver’s license or ID card at the time a citizen applies for it, the license or card will be produced at a secure location off-site. It will then be mailed to the applicant in approximately 10 business days. A temporary license or ID card will be issued in the interim. ITD is transitioning to central issue because it is more cost-effective, more secure, and safer. Idaho is one of 15 remaining states that only issue driver’s licenses over-the-counter.

Other board discussion

Recreational bridge activities
District 4 receives frequent requests for recreational use of the Perrine Bridge at Twin Falls. Two requests are pending.

One of the requests is to allow bungee jumpers to use the Perrine Bridge and other bridges in the state. The other request is from a movie company that proposes shooting a stunt from the Perrine Bridge: two people jumping off of a semi-truck trailer as it crosses the bridge, deploying parachutes and landing below.

District 4 staff will review past recreational activities on bridges and summarize the current process: applications for a special permit need to be completed and submitted to the appropriate district. If the district engineer denies the permit, the applicant may make a final appeal to the chief engineer. There is no further appeal process.

District 4 has taken a strong position against issuing permits for special events or activities that will impact traffic or present a risk to travelers.

Legislative process
Although the 2011 legislative session just finished, ITD staff members already are planning for the 2012 session. They will provide the board with an overview of the current legislative process, which starts with staff compiling concepts for leadership’s consideration. If ITD leaders concur with the concepts, they are forwarded to the board for approval. Approved concepts then are submitted to the Division of Financial Management (DFM), and upon its approval, draft legislation is prepared. The draft legislation is submitted to the board for approval at its September meeting.

This year, a new step is being added to the process. At the June workshop, the department’s three advisory boards that are established in Idaho Code will have the opportunity to present legislative concepts they would like to submit for next year. The groups are the Aeronautics Advisory Board, Dealer Advisory Board and Public Transportation Advisory Council.

Tentative dates for the fall legislative outreach meetings and an overview on the administrative rule process also will be presented to the board.

Rest area program
The annual update of the Safety Rest Area Program will be presented to the board for approval during the business meeting. Remodeling of two rest area facilities recently was completed: Timmerman on U.S. 20 / Idaho 75 and Hagerman on U.S. 30. Both are in District 4. Three rest area projects are programmed in the next three years: I-15, Dubois in District 6; U.S. 95, Mineral Mountain in District 2; and I-84, Cotterell in District 4.

An update on the three proposed public/private/government partnerships also will be provided to the board: Camas Prairie (U.S. 95 near Winchester), Cougar Mountain Lodge (Idaho 55 south of Cascade), and ION Truck Stop (U.S. 95 / Idaho 55 near Marsing).

Published 5-13-2011