Board tackles ITIP update, hears reports from the Internal Review Office and Distracted Driving Task Force

Updates to the Idaho Transportation Investment Program (ITIP), a report from the Internal Review Office and a presentation by the Distracted Driving Task Force highlighted the Idaho Transportation Board’s monthly meeting when it met in Boise March 24-25.

Workshop – FY16-20 Idaho Transportation Improvement Program (ITIP) Update
The board workshop on March 24 was devoted to updating the ITIP. Staff reported that 82 percent of the department’s pavements and 76 percent of its bridges are in good or fair condition. The goals are 82 percent and 80 percent, respectively. If no additional revenue is received, staff estimates that the condition of both pavements and bridges will be 76 percent in good or fair condition by 2019. The condition of bridges should not decrease because the board made a concerted effort to address the bridge needs in the current ITIP.

An additional $70 million per year is needed to maintain the goal of 82 percent of pavements in good or fair condition. To achieve the goal of 80 percent of bridges in good or fair condition by 2020, an additional $17 million per year is needed. Eliminating all of the 112 commerce-restricting bridges not included in the current ITIP would require $365 million total, or $37 million annually over a 10-year period. An additional $30 million per year is needed for the safety program, plus $12 million to remove operational projects like brooming, striping and signing from the ITIP. Ideally, these activities should be funded through the Operating budget.

The board concurred with the proposed funding levels for FY20: $80 million for pavement projects, $63 million for bridge projects and $22 million for the Strategic Initiatives Program. The Strategic Initiatives Program is dedicated to projects that address the department’s mission of safety, mobility, and economic opportunity.

The funding recommendation includes investing more money on the routes that are the most important to the state’s economy. Approximately 55 percent of the state’s highways were identified as being very important to commerce, with an average daily traffic count of 300 trucks or more.  These routes, comprising 6,753 lane miles, would be targeted for preservation and restoration projects, while only preservation projects would be programmed on the other 45 percent of highways that have less commercial traffic.

Internal Review
The Internal Review Office provided its annual report to the board at the business meeting on March 25. Its goals are to help ensure internal controls exist that increase the probability of ITD achieving its strategic goals and complying with policies and regulations, provide recommendations to help improve internal controls, and help promote accountability.

Some of the reviews or audits conducted last year were on site-manager contract administration and implementation, consultant-agreement administration, the Ports of Entry, and consultants’ indirect cost rates. It also assisted with the Cyber Security Risk Assessment, monitored internal control features in the Division of Motor Vehicles’ system development, and participated in American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials quality assurance peer reviews.

Distracted Driving
The Strategic Safety Team identified 2015 as the year to combat distracted driving. Distracted driving is a significant highway safety problem, contributing to 21 percent of all crashes and 20 percent of all fatalities in 2013.

A Distracted Driving Task Force was established to create and implement strategies for eliminating death and serious injuries caused by distracted driving. The panel members, comprised of public and private partners, reported on activities to educate motorists about the dangers of driving while distracted, such as high school competitions, public awareness campaigns to “just drive,” and to sign pledges to not drive while distracted. They also shared personal stories about the heartbreaking results of distracted driving, including the death of a teenage daughter.

Published 04-03-15