Employee honors, rest areas, and 129,000-lb. truck routes highlight Nov. 16 Idaho Transportation Board meeting          

Employee service awards, 129k-lb. truck routes, an innovative rest area concept, and purchase of an aircraft will highlight the Nov. 16 meeting of the Idaho Transportation Board in Boise.

The board will participate in the semiannual employee service awards as part of its business meeting in the auditorium on November 16. District 3 Board Member Julie DeLorenzo will provide remarks on behalf of the board.

129,000-lb. truck routes
Eleven requests have been received to designate specific routes in District 5 as 129,000-pound truck routes. Staff analyzed the routes, focusing on safety, vehicle off-tracking, bridges and culverts, and pavement condition.

Following a public-comment period, including a public hearing, staff presented its findings to the Board Subcommittee on 129,000-Pound Truck Routes last month.

Staff recommended approving all of the routes, and the subcommittee concurred. The next step will be to present the routes, all or portions of US-26, ID-34, US-89, ID-61, I-86 Business Loop, US-91, ID-38, ID-37, and US-30, to the full board for its consideration.

Blackfoot and Jerome Oasis partnership update
Earlier, the board approved exploring the feasibility of establishing Oasis rest areas in the Blackfoot and Jerome vicinities, and if one or both partnerships were successful, the respective rest area would be closed.

In an Oasis partnership, ITD covers certain costs of providing rest area facilities at the private business and installs signing directing travelers to the facility. In return, the business provides maintenance of the restrooms and parking facilities.
Staff will report to the board that District 5 solicited interest from the travel centers and truck stops at I-15 Exit 113 in Idaho Falls. To date, there has been no interest in establishing a partnership from the private sector. The Blackfoot Rest Area will continue to operate for now.

Conversations are continuing between District 4 and potential Oasis partners in the Twin Falls area. Two facilities appear to meet the requirements and a draft agreement is being developed.

Aircraft purchase
A resolution will be presented to the board to include a line item in the 2019 budget request to purchase a single-engine turboprop aircraft. It is estimated that an aircraft like that would cost around $2 million. A new airplane would replace the aging Cessna Skylane, which was built in 1972. It would also be able to access most, if not all, of Idaho’s 128 public airports.

Published 11-10-17