June 4, 2010
If you can read this sign...
Motorists were subject to an impromptu test this week as a newly installed variable message sign on Interstate 86 in Pocatello went through its initial check. Although the test results are not official, the sign near milepost 62 reportedly received a "passing" grade.
Falling rain, rising water, big headaches
It was inevitable. The long, protracted spring, persistent rain – heavy at times – and increasing daytime temperatures combined to make travel in the northern areas of District 3 very challenging. And they are creating considerable headaches for ITD employees charged with keeping the highways passable.
Take a virtual tour of a SPUI
The Interstate 84/Vista Interchange will not be completed until the fall, yet you can drive through the “Single Point Urban Interchange” now. Drivers can get a realistic sense of navigating the interchange without actually getting into a car by way of animation that simulates the driving experience. In the latest video produced for the kiosk at the Boise Airport, POWER Engineers designed the computer simulation to help prepare the motorists for the new configuration and the lone traffic signal that will control all movements from the center of the interchange. While not unique around the country, the SPUI is new to Idaho. Kick its tires and then take it for a test drive right here...
Take a test drive
Memorial Day weekend free of traffic fatalities
No traffic deaths occurred on Idaho highways during the Memorial Day weekend for the first time in 12 years, according to ITD preliminary data. Last year, six people died in five motor vehicle crashes on Idaho highways during the holiday reporting period, which begins at 6 p.m. on the Friday before Memorial Day and concludes the following Tuesday at 6 a.m.
Students view Idaho's past through highway artifacts
ITD State Highway Archaeologist Marc Münch has a pile of arrowheads and other ancient stone tools collected from sites cleared for road construction throughout Idaho. Recently, Münch, along with Idaho Power Co. staff archaeologist Tyrone Corn, explained Native American artifacts to approximately 3,000 fourth-grade at the 2010 Meridian School District Rendezvous.
Fernandez takes engineering opportunities to the classroom
A commitment to better engineering education is beginning to show dividends for Nestor Fernandez, ITD roadway design engineer. During the past year, Fernandez joined the Nampa School District’s Professional Technical Education Advisory Board and assisted with its pre-engineering curriculum. He also helped with Hispanic outreach efforts for Boise State University’s College of Engineering.
Director gets 'taste' of District 1
ITD Director Brian Ness experienced the flavor – and hospitality – of District 1 during a trip to the Coeur d’Alene area last week. He visited with ITD employees, area legislators and city officials May 25-27. He also learned firsthand the talents of D-1 cooks.
Computer users to see new log-on dialogue box
Jon Pope, Enterprise Technology Services
I want to make you aware of a minor change that the executive management team asked to have implemented. Beginning June 14, after users enter their username and password to access an ITD computer, they will be presented with a very simple dialog box containing a policy awareness statement the executive management team has approved.
I-way introduces new website
Idaho’s mobility movement has a new online home – www.i-way.org . I-way.org is designed as an online resource for both mobility partners and stakeholders as well as others interested in learning about what options exist in Idaho today and how they can get involved in their local efforts.
Targhee joins CTAI online system
511 Transit – 511.idaho.gov - recently welcomed Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority (TRPTA) to its online tracking program. The addition of TRPTA brings the total service providers on the new system to six. The new system eventually will feature a total of 12 fixed-route service providers across Idaho – allowing customers and service providers to easily access route information and updates.
Safest place during lightning storm is indoors
June 20-26 is Lightning Safety Week. The National Weather Service (NWS) encourages everyone to remember: “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” There already have been two lightning fatalities in the U.S. this year, and the summer storm season has not yet arrived. In 2009, there were 34 fatalities, all of which occurred either outdoors or in an unsafe shelter.
May 28, 2010
Early data shows 35 percent decline in fatalities for first four months
Idaho motor vehicle fatalities declined by more than one-third during the first four months of 2010, according to preliminary ITD data. Early numbers from ITD show 40 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in Idaho from January through April, a decline of more than 35 percent. Last year, 62 people died during the same four-month period.
ITD agreement pioneers traffic control during wildfires
ITD and the Idaho Department of Lands recently signed a memorandum of understanding that is the first of its kind in the nation to align wildland fire traffic control with the federal “Incident Sign Installation Guide.” The agreement, completed in April, specifies the roles of both state agencies when a forest or range fire impacts the transportation system.
ITD teams with Department of Labor to present career fairs
Who will replace today’s retirees after they leave the construction workforce? How will today’s young adults prepare to inherit those jobs? And who will provide the training? Those concerns are being addressed through a series of job fairs jointly organized by ITD and the Idaho Department of Labor. ITD secured a $38,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration to help fund the series of eight career fairs and workshops held throughout the state this year.
Economy will help drive transportation decisions
ITD's Transportation Planning Division staff members toured the state in April and May to meet with chambers of commerce, city planners, city engineers, legislators, metropolitan planning organizations, business owners, Native American tribes and others to gather input on how ITD’s highway system can benefit communities.
Idaho communities to benefit from new bridges
Weiser and Payette stand 15 miles apart in rural Southwest Idaho. Although they reside in different counties, Weiser (in Washington County) and Payette (in Payette County) have many things in common. They are about to share anther commonality – new bridges.
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Comment: I feel at times like this, when employee moral is low, that it is very disrespectful to retire people from our organization without so much as a plaque to honor them for their years of service to the state.
— Jim Moore District 1
Response: Because of the governor’s mandate that state funds not be used to purchased employee service awards, we are no longer able to provide plaques to retirees. I hate it too, but the only alternative is for the management at the district to ensure that they do a proper recognition of retirees in whatever way they can.
— Mary Harker, manager, Human Resource Services
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