Transportation board to meet next week in Rexburg

The Idaho Transportation Board will visit with city of Rexburg leaders on the first day of its two-day business meeting in District 6 next week. The tour is planned for Wednesday, with a monthly business meeting to follow on Thursday.

Wednesday’s discussion with city officials will include the evolution of student housing at Brigham Young University – Idaho (BYU-Idaho) and a look at the economic vitality and importance of the transportation system to the area’s economy.

Other Wednesday activities include a tour of the BYU-Idaho campus and AMET, which develops and manufactures robotic welders for use worldwide. The tour will conclude with a visit to the Rexburg Airport.

Other board agenda items

Annual GARVEE Legislative Report
ITD staff members will present a draft of the 2011 GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) report to the transportation board at its Thursday (Sept. 22) meeting in District 6. Idaho Code requires an annual report on the program.

Funding for the program, since its enactment in 2005, totals $855 million. The document summarizes the status of the projects in the six legislative-approved corridors. The innovative tools and techniques developed for the program also will be explained. Some of those activities include use of pre-purchased materials, accelerated bridge construction techniques, use of completion and milestone incentives and consolidation of public information campaigns.

Recommended FY12-16 Idaho Transportation Investment Program
The recommended FY12-16 Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP) will be submitted to the board for approval Thursday. The document includes funding plans for highways, public transportation and aeronautics projects, with detailed costs for preliminary engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction.

The ITIP includes 620 projects with projects estimated to cost almost $1.5 billion for the state highway system during the five-year period, excluding GARVEE. Some of those projects will preserve 2,009 lane miles, rehabilitate 61 bridges and restore two rest areas.

Eighteen comments were received during the one-month public comment period (July 15-August 15). Eight of those comments expressed support for safe bicycle and pedestrian routes. Others expressed support for funding wildlife crossings, replacing the Broadway Bridge in Boise and improved signs and lane markings.

Upon board approval of the ITIP, department staff will ensure that the program mirrors the metropolitan planning organization Transportation Improvement Programs and then submit the document to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

State Highway System Adjustment
The Board Subcommittee on State Highway Systems Adjustments has held discussions for years on transferring the Elba-to-Almo highway, also known as the City of Rocks Backcountry Byway, to the state highway system.

Formal action to finalize this transaction from Cassia County is expected at the transportation board meeting. The route is approximately 17 miles long. The cooperative agreement specifies that the county will be responsible for snow removal and other minor activities.

Once the transfer has been completed, the route will be known as the State Highway 77 Spur.

Published 9-16-2011