Transportation board will hold its April 16 meeting in Lewiston

The transportation board will travel to Lewiston Wednesday for its monthly meeting. In a departure from past practices, the board will not take a day to tour the district. A tour of District 2 will be combined with a tour of District 1 in July. The group will still meet in the District 2 office to conduct its business meeting.

National Summer Transportation Institute discretionary grants
The department applied for and was awarded funding for FY14 National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) projects. The summer camp programs are geared towards hands-on activities that will motivate and educate at-risk students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with an emphasis on transportation. The camps encourage students to consider transportation-related careers and provide awareness about transportation careers.

Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa received $20,000 for its Treasure Valley camp. Idaho State University in Pocatello received $52,500. Its program is specifically targeted to reach students from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes as well as additional minority, female and disadvantaged students.

Staff will ask the board to add these two projects to the FY14 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

Rules Governing Oversize Permits for Non-reducible Vehicles and/or Loads
Staff will request board approval to revise the Rules Governing Oversize Permits for Non-reducible Vehicles and/or Loads.

This item is a follow-up to last month’s meeting when Potlatch Corporation requested an economic hardship waiver to allow movement of lumber up to 9 feet 2 inches wide on Idaho 3 for approximately one-half mile in St. Maries.

The rule would allow a permit-type for the kiln lumber stacks to be hauled side-by-side and exceed 8 feet 6 inches wide, but not to exceed 9 feet 3 inches on the requested half-mile stretch.

Staff capacity analysis
The Division of Highways is searching for an appropriate balance between the use of consultants and in-house designers for project development.  The intent is to weigh the pros and cons based on efficiency and staff capacity rather than direct cost.

Staff will be presenting its capacity-analysis report to the board. Some of the deliverables it will summarize include nationwide research on consultant versus staff usage, the historical development staff capacity, historical consultant usage for specialty tasks, and the development of a repeatable methodology to estimate the available staff capacity versus future Idaho Transportation Improvement Program development needs.

The next steps include evaluating the data to determine what balance of in-house and outsourcing will be successful.

Published 4-11-14