Alternative Transportation, compensation change and winter-operations update highlight board’s Feb. 18 meeting

A program to explore alternative transportation projects, a possible change in employee compensation and an update of winter operational systems will be discussed by the Idaho Transportation Board at its Feb. 18 meeting in Boise.

Transportation Alternatives Program update
The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) preserves and creates more livable communities where roads blend with and preserve the natural, social and cultural environment, by providing for a variety of alternative transportation projects. The board will hear an update on efforts to develop this program, which was formerly called Community Choices.

TAP includes three types of projects: construction of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers; construction of infrastructure-related projects to improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school; and safe routes to school coordination and education. A committee will be established to review TAP program applications and recommend projects to the board for funding. Committee members will consist of appropriate interested parties and expertise.

Funding of approximately $3.85 million is provided annually in the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Board and Administrative Policies addressing TAP are also being developed, with tentative plans to present those documents to the board in March.

Winter operational systems
The Mobility Services section oversees ITD’s winter operational systems, and will present an overview and demonstration.

ITD districts use the systems to monitor, track, and report winter operational efforts and performance. The systems gather data on weather conditions, roadway conditions, roadway treatments, equipment operation and material usage. Roadway and equipment sensors generate and collect data and integrate the data for viewing and analysis. 

The integrated systems are the Vaisala Navigator – Road Weather Information System, Cirus spreader controllers and Data Smart application for collecting truck-related data, and a Winter Automated Reporting System developed in-house.

The systems provide information to the districts to drive the improvement of winter-operations performance and constant improvements to efficiency that increase safety, enhance mobility, and drive economic opportunity.

FY17 Appropriation Request Status - Governor's Recommendation
A status update on the department's FY17 appropriation request, per the governor's recommendation, will be provided. Some of the changes are summarized below.

The governor has recommended a 3 percent Change in Employee Compensation in FY17 to the legislature. The governor also recommends an increase to cover health insurance costs paid by the employer.

Due to funding from the federal FAST Act, operating expenditures are being increased $406,500 in Highway Operations. The replacement item related to the StateComm dispatch console is being removed and Aeronautics’ truck replacement cost is being decreased for a total $412,000 replacement equipment reduction. An additional $7.4 million is available to add to Contract Construction. These changes bring the total appropriation request to $649,641,300, with 1,678.7 full-time equivalent positions.

Published 02-12-16