New highway & transit projects,
and heavy-vehicle routes
will highlight April phone meeting
of Idaho Transportation Board

Conducting its business via telephone next week, the board will consider a new highway project in District 1, two transit projects, and designating some routes in District 6 for heavier commercial vehicles.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the April 16 board meeting will be conducted via telephone. No visuals will be available.

ID-3 Levee Project
District 1 will be requesting engineering funds to develop a new project on ID-3 near St. Maries. The 2.5-mile segment to be improved sits on a levee along the St. Joe River. The pavement width is narrow and commercial vehicle crashes appear to be increasing.

The proposed solution is to use lightweight GeoFoam blocks to widen the existing roadway without impacting the wetlands. The district will be requesting $1.5 million in state funds to start the design work now. Construction costs are estimated at $15 million; however, no construction funding is being requested at this time because additional investigation and engineering are required to finalize the engineer’s estimate.

129,000-lb. Truck Routes
Arlo G. Lott Trucking Inc. requested designating portions of ID-75 and US-93 as 129,000-lb. truck routes to transport the mineral Molybdenum from the mine near Clayton to the Montana border.

Staff analyzed the District 6 routes and presented its findings to the Board Subcommittee on 129,000-Pound Truck Routes earlier this year. Although the engineering analysis, which reviews items such as the pavement condition, off-tracking, and safety, concurs with designating the routes for higher weight limits, the Subcommittee members wrestled with its recommendation to the full board due to the numerous public comments the department received opposing this action. The comments expressed concerns with issues like additional traffic, motorcyclists and recreational vehicles on the highway, a section of US-93 that follows the Wild and Scenic-designated Salmon River, and wildlife along the corridor.

In discussing these concerns with the Subcommittee, staff emphasized that the majority of comments do not directly relate to commercial motor vehicles operating at weights up to 129,000 pounds. Ultimately, the Subcommittee approved motions to send both applications to the full board with a recommendation for approval.

Transit Projects
Staff, on behalf of the Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organizatio, will be requesting the addition of two transit projects to FY20 of the Idaho Transportation Improvement Program.

The Coeur d’Alene UZA Riverstone Transit Center, Phase 2 project will complete construction of the transit center. The $850,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration would be used to complete the design, engineering, and construction of the remaining site, which will be used as a park-and-ride lot in conjunction with the use of Citylink public transportation services.

The $191,000 Coeur d’Alene UZA Paratransit Services project is to continue Kootenai County’s Purchase of Service, Ring a Ride service for years 2021 and 2022. This will provide ongoing reliable services to senior and disabled individuals that would not have access to traditional public transportation services. Funding is from the Federal Transit Administration.

Published 04-10-20