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The Idaho Transportation Board recently approved a $350 million construction work plan expected to shift into high gear sometime in 2022; a plan that includes $140 million worth of one-time funding for projects that are part of the “Building Idaho’s Future” program launched by Governor Brad Little (R) in March.

[Above photo by the Idaho Transportation Department]

“To keep up with the demands of a fast-growing state, our historic transportation funding solution helps save Idahoans’ time, keeps us safe on our roads, and makes our state’s economy even stronger,” the governor said in a statement.

Gov. Little. Photo by the Idaho Governor’s Office.

“I appreciate the Idaho Transportation Board for acting quickly to put these new funds to work,” he added.

The construction plan includes $170 million in Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation or TECM funds to expand Idaho State Highway 16 from its current location at US-20/26 to Interstate 84. The board also dedicated $37 million of TECM funds to expand US-20/26 to four lanes from Middleton Road to I-84.

“Our goal as a board is to be great stewards of this funding,” added Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad. “We will work with the [Idaho transportation] department to pick the projects across Idaho that will have the greatest return on investment in improving safety, increasing mobility and addressing Idaho’s rapid growth.”

Photo by the Idaho Transportation Dept.

 

In addition to $350 million in construction that will begin next year, the board also approved nearly $170 million for project development. This includes environmental planning, design and right-of-way acquisition.

“Project development is very important,” Moad added. “The board wants the department to have projects ready for the Building Idaho’s Future program and to be constantly advancing additional work for any future federal or state funding opportunities.”

The Idaho legislature increased the TECM fund by $80 million through House Bill 362 signed by Governor Little in mid-May. The Idaho Transportation Department will leverage those ongoing funds into a Building Idaho’s Future bonding program that could yield as much as $1.6 billion, with the goal to make major safety investments and expand corridors over the next six to eight years with the bond proceeds.

editor@aashto.org

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