Board to visit Sand Creek Byway, Dover Bridge

The Idaho Transportation Board will revisit one of the state’s longest-planned, most costly and most acclaimed highway construction project as part of a meeting and tour of northern Idaho next week. Board members Wednesday will travel to the Sand Creek Byway in Sandpoint and the Dover Bridge on U.S. 2, and will visit with the Bonner County Airport Board at the Sandpoint Airport Wednesday.

A business meeting will follow on Thursday at ITD’s District 1 office in Coeur d’Alene. It will be the final road tour of the season for the board.

Public Involvement report
The annual report on public involvement activities will be presented at Thursday as part of the transportation board’s monthly business meeting. From October 2012 through August 2013, 21 public meetings were held for highway projects. Of those, 14 were for Interstate 84 interchange projects in the Treasure Valley at Gowen Road, Broadway Avenue and Meridian Road.

Meetings also were held with each of Idaho’s four Native American tribes to discuss the Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP).

Other public involvement activities during the 11-month period included distributing press releases to announce those events and sending post-event press releases. ITD’s public involvement coordinator responded to 374 email messages, routed 372 emails to other staff for response and updated webpages to ensure the project information is current and accurate.

Other board agenda items

FY14-18 Idaho Transportation Investment Program proposal
The recommended FY 2014-18 Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP) will be submitted to the board for approval.

The draft program was presented to the board in June for preliminary consideration. It also was released to the public for review and comment from July 1 to August 1. ITD received eight formal comments about the proposed project plan. Three of the comments supported improvements to Idaho 55 in McCall, such as a center turn lane and a pedestrian signal where the highway makes a 90-degree turn. An additional three comments related to reducing wildlife collisions on U.S. 20 in District 6.

Capital investments in the five-year ITIP include seal-coating 2,586 lane miles, preserving 1,427 lane-miles of pavement, replacing 81bridges, improving 19 railroad crossings and upgrading12 signs. No rest area restoration projects planned.

After the board approves the ITIP, it will be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

Sponsorship of ITD programs
Earlier, the board authorized staff to seek a sponsor for the incident response program. The next step involved drafting a policy.

ITD staff members will present the draft policy, “Sponsorship of Department Programs.” Because there are other programs that could potentially benefit from sponsorships in the future, such as rest areas and airports, the policy to be presented for consideration is generic. It does not address the specific sponsorship of the incident response program.

The policy encourages opportunities for sponsorships that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the department; seeks sponsors that are a “good fit” for the department; and ensures sponsors selected for any program will not negatively impact the department’s positive public image.

Published 9-13-13