May 27, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 – Please enjoy the holiday and make safe driving decisions.

Memorial Day

ITD to provide flagging assistance on Idaho 55
If your holiday weekend plans include driving on Idaho 55 between Boise and McCall, ITD asks you to avoid the heaviest traffic by traveling outside of peak times or using alternate routes. ITD again will arrange for flaggers to help with traffic flow at the junction of Idaho 55 and the Banks-to-Lowman Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway. Since 1995, ITD has assisted motorists on the final day of extended Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends.

Highway construction suspended for holiday
ITD will suspend highway construction projects statewide to enhance safe, uninterrupted travel during the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. Some construction activity may continue if it takes place outside of travel lanes and does not affect traffic. In most cases, work will resume either Monday night or Tuesday (May 30 or 31).

Law enforcement, ITD emphasize seat belt use
As the three-day Memorial Day holiday approaches – signaling the unofficial beginning of the summer travel season – ITD and the Idaho State Police remind motorists to stay safe during their travels.  Many local law enforcement agencies, including ISP, have partnered with ITD's Office of Highway Safety for a seatbelt mobilization patrol. During traffic stops, officers will have zero tolerance for non-seatbelt usage, including passengers.

Holiday honors contributions of fallen heroes
The origin of Memorial Day goes back to the mid-1800s and was initially known as Decoration Day. It was a moment in time to recognize and honor the nation’s lost heroes of the Civil War. Their graves were decorated and adorned with flowers and flags. The day was first observed widely on May 30, 1868 to remember the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers, by declaration of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic.


Transportation board
Board receives report on Zero Based Budget
Although a 2009 Governor’s Executive Order required ITD to implement zero-base budgeting (ZBB) in two stages the department’s management decided to include all programs in its FY13 zero-base budget analysis. The change to ZBB is being done in conjunction with the department’s re-alignment to ensure that programs match legal mandates by reviewing all programs, including funding and personnel. The report is due to the Division of Financial Management on Sept. 1.

Motorists takes new Ten Mile Interchang for a drive
After 22 months of construction, the new Ten Mile Interchange
opened to drivers headed home on their evening commute Wednesday. Although the interchange is open, construction will continue below the bridge on the median section with some lane restrictions until that work is complete. Warmer months are best for the paving that will take place on the median section.

TSA recognizes temporary licenses
as valid ID for air travel

ITD Director Brian Ness had no problems when presenting his identification for airline travel recently, although it wasn't the conventional laminated card found in most wallets or purses. He handed over a temporary document printed at a county driver's license office. The printed "license" was issued in Ada County as part of Idaho's conversion to a centrally issued license system. The new process was introduced in Payette County; Ada County followed this week. The central-issue system will expand to all licensing offices in Idaho before the end of June.

Contract awarded to 3M for modernization project
Last week ITD contracted with 3M to lead a major Division of Motor Vehicles modernization project that is expected to take 42 months to complete. Design and development sessions already are planned, and work was expected to begin
this week. 3M brings myriad success in technology modernization to the ITD project, including similar work in other states. It offers a proven solution that can be tailored to meet Idaho’s needs.

For more information, please see the project newsletter.

County offices announce brief closure for 'central-issue'
Idaho driver's licenses and identification (ID) cards will have a new look, state-of-the-art security features, and a new way of being issued beginning this summer. To prepare for the transition, county licensing offices will close for half-day increments during early and mid-June for staff training, equipment upgrades and installation. (To review the closure schedule included in full text.)


In Memoriam
Tim Swenson passes away after 40-plus years with ITD
ITD and District 5 lost a long-time colleague and friend Saturday morning (May 21) when Tim Swenson passed away in Pocatello at the age of 65 after a courageous battle with cancer. His passing brings to close a four-decade career of dedicated service to the department and citizens of Idaho.


High water
Bingham, Jefferson counties declared disaster areas
Because of flooding conditions in eastern Idaho, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has declared a State Declaration of Emergency in support of in Bingham and Jefferson counties. The state declaration, approved by the governor Wednesday (May 25) , brings the availability of state support to the impacted areas. Bingham County has been operating under a local declaration of emergency since April 26 and has been preparing for flooding conditions for some time.


Published May 20, 2011

Meridian officials, citizens welcome Ten Mile Interchange
About 250 people joined with the city of Meridian, local legislators and long-time advocates to celebrate the new Ten Mile Interchange at a ceremony on the northeast quadrant of the bridge deck Tuesday (May 17). Mayor Tammy de Weerd spoke extensively about how the new interchange will open the western end of Ada County to greater opportunity and development, and got choked up when describing the teamwork, focus and single-mindedness required to make the $33.8 million interchange a reality.


Student input
Vallivue students exchange highway information
About 20 students from Vicki Scaggs’ sophomore English II class at Vallivue High School visited District 3 Monday (May 16) morning to present a petition to ITD suggesting safety improvements on Idaho 55 through the Nampa and Caldwell areas. Students presented the petition to Michael Garz, the district’s program manager, who then spent the next two hours giving a “Highways 101” lesson to the class...

Helping hands
Kamaih students help clean highways, city

Students from elementary grades through high school reached out – and down – last week to leave their community a better place. A community-wide cleanup and litter patrol along three Idaho highways originally was planned to coincide with Earth Day and Arbor Day. Nature dictated otherwise as cloudy skies created a one-week rain delay. Determined to do their part, children, teachers, school staff members, parents and community volunteers spread out across Kamiah on May 10.

Showers of blessing coming to Garden Valley airstrip
Pilots and other visitors landing at the scenic Garden Valley airstrip soon will be able to grab a quick shower. Construction of new shower facilities at the popular mountain-area airstrip is under way and should be completed this summer, weather permitting. ITD’s Division of Aeronautics is working with the Idaho Aviation Foundation (IAF), the Idaho Aviation Association (IAA), ITD District 3 personnel and local authorities to construct the new facility, located 30 miles north of Boise and adjacent to the South Fork of the Payette River.


District 1 introduces bright energy savers
When Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb more than a century ago, he changed the world forever. But these days, there’s a new kid in town, ready and willing to save you energy and help you keep a few bucks in your pocket. His name? LED.

Burley youth learn find rewards for cleaning highways
Members of the Star Second Ward Youth program from Burley prove that you’re never too young to take pride in your community and to lend a hand in keeping it clean. Youths between the ages of 10 and 18 were honored this week as the District 4 Adopt-A-Highway group of the year during the Idaho Transportation Board’s business meeting and tour.

PERSI retirement workshops scheduled
The PERSI trainers have scheduled the PERSI Retirement "Beach Workshop" exclusively for ITD employees. The hands-on workshop is intended to help anyone within 10 years of PERSI retirement. Employees will be shown how to combine PERSI Base benefits with Social Security and other income sources for a rewarding retirement. If you have never attended the workshop in the past, you are encouraged to sign up.