Transportation board travels to Districts 1 and 2 for July meeting

A tour of Districts 1 and 2, review of proposed speed limit increases, recognition of an Adopt-A-Highway group and presentations by local delegations are on the agenda for the transportation board’s visit to north Idaho July 10-11. The group’s business meeting will be held July 11 in the District 1 Office in Coeur d’Alene. 

District Tour
In a departure from the past practice, the transportation board will be combining the District 1 and 2 tour. The board will start in Lewiston on July 10 and travel U.S. 95 to Coeur d’Alene. It has several stops planned along the way.

The agenda includes a visit to the Port of Lewiston, the west’s most inland port.  It oversees harbor operations, terminal facilities, international trade, and industrial and economic development.

In Moscow, the board will tour the Intermodal Transit Center. A $1.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant helped make the facility a reality. The center will link services provided by the local transit provider, the University of Idaho’s shuttle and intercity bus service. It also will provide access for taxis, vanpools and carpools, and expand pedestrian and bicycle accessibility with access to the nearby path. It was designed to be a seamless, one-stop concept for transportation in the community.

The last stop will be a tour of Ground Force in Post Falls. The industrial plant’s specialty is manufacturing mining equipment

Proposed Speed Limit Increases
Legislation approved during this last session allows speed limits on interstates to be increased to 80 mph and speed limits on state highways up to 70 mph. This is dependent on engineering and traffic studies and the board’s concurrence.

The required studies have been performed on I-84, I-86, and I-15. Staff recommends increasing the speed limit to 80 mph on all non-urban stretches. The speed limit for trucks would be increased to 70 mph at these same locations.

The traffic and engineering investigations have not been completed yet on I-90 in northern Idaho.

Adopt-A-Highway Recognition
The board is continuing its tradition of recognizing an Adopt-A-Highway group when it visits each district.

District 1 chose the Proud Employees of Idaho Forest Group as its group of the year.

Idaho Forest Group was formed in 2008 when Riley Creek Lumber and Bennett Forest Industries combined their resources.  Idaho Forest Group provides top quality American made lumber and other wood by products for domestic and international export. The company is one of America’s largest lumber producers with over 800 employees at five locations: Athol, Grangeville, Laclede, Lewiston and Moyie Springs.

The group joined the Adopt-A-Highway program in 2011 and has picked up about 7,700 pounds of litter since then. Employees think volunteering to pick up litter is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while achieving something that is really valuable at the same time.  Not only are clean roadways pleasant to look at, they also make the area safer for wildlife and reduce environmental hazards such as toxins that may leak into the ground.

Published 7-3-14