Exit in sight for GARVEE projects that transformed I-84 corridor
As the GARVEE program on Interstate 84 in the Treasure Valley corridor wraps up this week, the impact on the transportation system will be evident to motorists for decades to come.
GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonds allowed ITD to advance critical infrastructure improvements. The new funding mechanism provided up-front capital to accelerate needed highway-system improvements. ITD pledged future federal revenue to repay the principal, interest, and associated costs. The approach did not risk the state's credit rating or increase government staffing. It was authorized by the Idaho Legislature in 2005 and the first bonds were issued the next year.
“The GARVEE Program has transformed the local and regional transportation system since the first project went to construction in 2007,” said GARVEE program manager Amy Schroeder. “Most notably here in the Valley, GARVEE widened more than 12 miles of interstate between east Boise and west Nampa, built a new interchange at Ten Mile Road, reconstructed those at Vista, Orchard and Garrity roads, opened western Ada County to commerce, and relieved some of the vehicle pressure on the Eagle and Meridian interchanges.”
GARVEE also focused on improving safety, mobility and economic opportunity for citizens and industry. Projects re-shaped the interstate and interchanges along the route, doubling the capacity for travelers, and creating a transportation system built to accommodate growth well into the future. In a depressed economy, it also created or sustained more than 13,000 jobs from 2005 through the end of 2011, according to Department of Labor estimates.
Approximately $365 million of improvements on I-84 were funded by GARVEE. When GARVEE was being finalized as a financing tool in 2005, population in the Treasure Valley had passed 500,000 and was expected to exceed a million by 2030. Meanwhile, I-84 remained virtually unchanged since it was constructed in the 1960s. Although there were just 16,000 vehicles per day using I-84 then, there are more than 100,000 using it each day in many sections today.
GARVEE also allowed the construction of these needed improvements now, instead of waiting for 30 or more years in the traditional "pay-as-you-go" funding model.
"Many of these projects came in under budget," said Schroeder, "and building when prices were rock-bottom has not only bolstered the community and industry in recent hard economic times, but provided much-needed improvements at a very reasonable price. These improvements will serve the Treasure Valley for many years to come."
Many of the projects in the GARVEE Treasure Valley program have received state and national recognition. Vista’s Single Point Urban Interchange design, construction and public outreach efforts received 14 awards. The Ten Mile Interchange, also a SPUI design, won a “Transportation Solutions” award and was featured in Aspire, a national magazine that focuses on bridge design and construction. GARVEE also received a “Zero Injuries” award for safety at various job sites.
In the words of key beneficiaries
As GARVEE winds down on the I-84 Treasure Valley corridor, some of the residents and businesses most impacted by the work have shared their perspectives:
Feb. 2, 2012
Feb. 13, 2012
Feb. 15, 2012