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Idaho Transportation Board Subcommittee on

 

Adjustments to the State Highway System

 

January 15, 2002

 

 

Transportation Board Vice Chairman Jack Combo and Member Monte C. McClure, Local Highway Technical Assistance Council Administrator Joe Haynes, Assistant Chief Engineer of Development (ACE-D) Steve Hutchinson, Transportation Planning Administrator (TPA) Charles Rountree, Senior Transportation Planner Garry Young, and Secretary to the Board (SB) Sue Higgins, met at 4 PM on Tuesday, January 15 in Room 200 at the Transportation Department, Boise.  Board Member John McHugh was also present.

 

US-93 Spur. The City of Challis and ITD District 6 had been negotiating an agreement whereby the US-93 Spur in Challis would be relinquished to the City.  SB Higgins informed the group that the City of Challis is no longer interested in acquiring jurisdiction of that Spur.  Mr. Haynes elaborated on the City’s concerns with the high maintenance costs based on a consultant’s report.

 

I-86 Business.  District 5 has been working with local officials from the City of American Falls and Power County Highway District on the ownership of I-86 Business.  In exchange for the State’s relinquishment of this route, mileposts 3.569 to 4.08, the District would program and construct a State-funded project estimated at $600,000 to upgrade this stretch of highway to meet City standards.  The scope of the work includes widening the existing two-lane roadway to three lanes, and addition of curb, gutter, and sidewalk.  The next step is a road closure and maintenance agreement, followed by a system action requiring Board approval.  The consensus of the Subcommittee was to proceed with the relinquishment of the I-86 Business route in American Falls.

 

Banks to Lowman Highway.  SB Higgins provided a brief status of the Banks to Lowman Highway.  Boise County officials had put discussions on the ownership of this route on hold.  Mr. Haynes stated that the County Commissioners are interested in re-visiting this issue and continuing discussions on this route.  He acknowledged the Department’s concern with rock falls and asked if Forest Highway or Discretionary funds were pursued or secured to address the rock problem, estimated at approximately $5-6 million.  Mr. Haynes suggested waiting until the Department hears from Boise County before any action is taken.

 

Member McClure reiterated the Subcommittee’s position that the route should be a state highway.  He understands a number of counties in the state received additional federal funds recently, as payment for timber receipts due to the high percentage of federal land in those counties.  He asked how much money Boise County received.  Mr. Haynes replied that Boise County received over $1 million.

 

ACE-D Hutchinson reminded the group that maintenance is a concern of the District’s, as neither the Banks nor the Lowman maintenance sheds have enough manpower to also maintain the Banks to Lowman highway.

 

Mr. Haynes reported that a chip seal project is currently scheduled in FY04 for $564,000, but the County would like to advance that project.

 

Vice Chairman Combo suggested that staff update the rock bolt information and estimated costs of maintaining the Banks to Lowman Highway by segments.  The information should include maintenance shed, manpower, and equipment needs.  ACE-D Hutchinson said that staff will provide that information, but he also believes the Subcommittee needs to consider an agreement whereby Boise County provides maintenance on that road.  He emphasized that it is difficult for ITD to get approval for additional positions.

 

TPA Rountree suggested having the District’s updated needs report and information on a possible Direct Federal project by May, and that the Subcommittee could meet with Boise County at that time.

 

SH-60.  Early last year, District 1 was negotiating with Benewah County on the relinquishment of SH-60.  The County was to receive $800,000, based on the cost of a Cement Recycled Asphalt Base Stabilization project and overlay, for the ownership of this 5.1-mile road.  Before the transaction was completed, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe contacted the District, expressing its interest in acquiring this state highway.  The District then put this issue on hold.  Member McClure asked if the County wants the route only because of the payment it would receive.  Mr. Haynes did not know.

 

Member McHugh expressed concern that DE Scott Stokes is caught in the middle on this issue.  He has worked hard to establish a good relationship with the Tribe.  Member McHugh also questioned the need to have a hearing if the State relinquishes this route.  Vice Chairman Combo elaborated on the Legal opinion the Subcommittee received, and that the hearing could consist of the topic being on the local public agencies’ meeting agenda; or, as Mr. Haynes pointed out, discussed at the Tribal Business Council meeting.

 

Mr. Haynes questioned the ownership of the Lovell Valley Road.  He believes the road is under Plummer-Gateway Highway District’s jurisdiction, although the map provided by the District indicates that the road is owned by the Tribe.  He asked ITD to confirm ownership.

 

Member McClure asked if the Tribe would restrict the use of SH-60 if the State relinquishes the route to it.  Mr. Haynes stated that Benewah County believes that is a possibility, and is concerned with that.  TPA Rountree said that any agreement to transfer ownership of the road could include language stating that the road must be kept open to the public.

 

Mr. Haynes asked what the rating is of SH-60.  Mr. Young replied “38”.  The general consensus was that DE Stokes should not be involved in any transaction regarding SH-60, and that Mr. Haynes would discuss this issue with Benewah County officials, to better understand their position and interest in acquiring this route.

 

Loops and Spurs.  Earlier, Mr. Haynes requested a list of ITD’s loops and spurs for the Subcommittee to review.  He noted that several rate under 32.  He asked if the District Engineers are aware of the Subcommittee’s desire to relinquish routes from the state system and if they are looking at eliminating some of these routes from their system.

 

Member McClure suggested that the District Engineers review the loops and spurs in their Districts and determine which are important routes, or critical to the state’s system.  Mr. Haynes added that once the less-important routes are determined, he would contact the appropriate local officials to discuss the state’s relinquishment of the route(s).  ACE-D Hutchinson said that he would contact the District Engineers to remind them of the Subcommittee’s activities, to encourage them to relinquish routes, and specifically to review the loops and spurs in their Districts.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.

 

________signed_______________

Respectfully submitted by:

SUE S. HIGGINS

Secretary

Idaho Transportation Board

Page Last Modified: 1/3/2005 2:59:14 PM

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