October 1, 2010


Director's visits
Director Ness commits to meetings with employees again next year
Shortly after becoming ITD director in January, Brian Ness made a commitment to meet as many of the department’s employees as possible. However, the extensive road trips had to wait about three months for conclusion of the legislative session. Since late spring, Director Ness completed his quest to visit facilities and employees in every region of the state, including Headquarters. It required a lot of time, energy and creative scheduling, but the results made the efforts worthwhile, he insists.


Assessment begins after U.S. 12 diesel spill
Environmental remediation experts traveled to north-central Idaho this week to assess the impact of a Wednesday (Sept. 29) diesel spill on U.S. 12 and begin cleanup efforts. A westbound tanker truck and pup trailer, operated by Keller Transport, left the highway and overturned about 27 miles west of Powell and 136 miles east of Lewiston. An estimated 8,000 gallons of diesel spilled from the tanks.


Stimulus funds

Idaho obligates all of its ARRA funds before deadline
ITD Roadway Design Engineer Nestor Fernandez reported Sept. 23 that all of Idaho’s $182 million (highways obligations and transfers) for 84 projects had been obligated. ITD has done an exceptional job getting projects out the door and on the ground where they are creating or sustaining jobs and improving the state’s economy. Idaho is among the nation's leaders in completing projects funded by the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA or stimulus) of 2009.

ARRA funding translates into transportation paychecks
Creating jobs and boosting the national economy was the purpose of the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act and an updated report titled More Projects and Paychecks: Transportation’s Summer of Recovery illustrates how these investments in transportation are delivering exceptional result

Stimulus funds help create 'summer of recovery'
This summer, the orange cones have been out on highways and bridges across the country, a visible symbol of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at work. Although accounting for only six percent of the total funding included in the stimulus, the $48 billion targeted at the nation’s highways, transit systems, intercity passenger rail, and aviation networks have borne rich fruit, both in creating good jobs for tens of thousands of Americans and in updating an aging transportation system.

Funds provide jobs, improve transportation
This summer, states have pumped $25.5 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment into transportation projects – an economic investment that has created good jobs for thousands of workers while producing long-lasting benefits for the users of highways, bridges and transit across America.

ITD employees donate aircraft registration sticker
An airplane without a sticker is like a boy without a shoe. Not fully clothed. As a replica of the first plane to fly over Idaho soil began to take shape in Lewiston, representatives of ITD’s Division of Aeronautics noticed something missing. The recreated Curtiss Pusher, built in a Lewiston hangar, had no aircraft registration sticker. To be completely proper, one needed to be affixed to the aircraft

Cyber Security
Employees urged to use precautions online
ITD employees have one of the greatest professional communication tools at their fingertips. That same technology has the potential to introduce unwanted obstacles that can slow productivity. A focus on cyber security can help ensure work continues without serious interruption. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) has been observed every year since 2004, encouraging employees to protect their computers and the national cyber infrastructure. ITD participates in and supports the national effort.

October designated Cyber Security Awareness Month
The Office of the Chief Information Officer designated October as Cyber Security Awareness Month in Idaho to focus attention on the “need to guard information shared online and through e-mail. The campaign provides information and sponsored events for citizens, businesses, educators and local and state government organizations.


Credit union to present 'university' sessions
ITD employees who want a new perspective on creating a strong financial future are invited to attend ICON University, a two-day seminar sponsored by the credit union. Four sessions are planned in the Headquarters auditorium.


Car enthusiasts at Headquarters in Boise dusted off their classic cars and turned part of a parking lot into a 'shown-shine' Thursday. See more photos.


Women in Transportation Seminar seeking nominations
The Treasure Valley chapter of Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) will accept nominations through Oct. 29 for three awards that it presents annually, said ITD’s Monica Crider. WTS will announce winners of the awards at its third annual banquet, Dec. 2. The banquet is planned for 6:30 p.m. at the Hatch Ballroom in Boise State University’s Student Union Building. Cost for the banquet is $25 for WTS members and $29 for non-members.

September 24, 2010

Pilots took a final opportunity last weekend to enjoy one of their favorite remote landing sites – the Johnson Creek backcountry airstrip. It was the last organized fly-in of the season at the pristine strip near Yellow Pine. Pilots of the planes shown here make the trip an annual event. It included U.S. Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri.

Highway safety
Every driver can share in reducing distracted driving crashes
Cell phones, texting devices, navigation systems, digital music players and other portable technologies increase distractions for motor vehicle drivers. Those new technologies challenge motorists who already struggle with distracting tasks while driving – such as caring for pets and children, holding conversations, eating, reading, smoking and drinking beverages. Driver inattention is a leading contributor to motor vehicle crashes in Idaho and the rest of the country so U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced new anti-distracted driving regulations.

Survey sheds light on opinions of Idaho drivers
A statewide public awareness survey of highway safety issues revealed that most Idaho drivers (84 percent) say they wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle and that more than half (59 percent) would support stronger seat belt legislation. The University of Idaho’s Social Science Research Unit conducted the annual telephone survey in early September for ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety.

Walk to school
School, children to observe annual walk, bike day
For generations, educators have asked students to stay in their seats and sit quietly. On Oct. 6 they will encourage students to leave their seats – in cars and buses – and expend a little energy by walking or bicycling to school. International Walk to School Day was created 14 years ago to emphasize the benefits of walking and bicycling. With about two weeks before the worldwide observance, Idaho had 28 events in 12 cities registered on the International Walk to School website, from Ammon and Iona to Boise, Eagle, Nampa and Lewiston and Sandpoint.


Participation provides 'win-win' results
Participating in the International Walk to School program provides communities, schools, parents and children a classic win-win scenario. Everyone wins, and there are no losers. Benefits include increased physical activity, improved fitness, improved air quality and the environment, and reduced traffic congestion around schools.

ITD reminds candidates of campaign sign limits
As the election season races into the home stretch, ITD Chief Engineer Tom Cole encourages candidates to refrain from planting signs in highway rights of way. A letter is being sent statewide to candidates, county clerks and officials in the Republican and Democratic parties that outline the department’s policy regarding the removal of election signs and posters.

TRIP issues report card on urban highways

Poor conditions result in higher costs for motorists
Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of the country’s major metropolitan roads – interstates, freeways and other critical local routes – have pavements “in poor condition, resulting in rough rides and costing the average urban motorist $402 annually” in additional vehicle costs. And they cost motorists more than $400 annually in vehicle costs, according to The Road Information Project (TRIP).