Idaho Transportation Department
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Adjustments to the
SH-46 Extension, Buhl to Wendell. District 4 requested proposals from consultants to complete an environmental document and prepare a set of right-of-way plans for the extension of SH-46. Mr. Haynes said the estimated cost is around $2 million, while only $800,000 is programmed for this work. The local entities do not have funds for this step. He believes there are two options: the STP-Rural Program or exchanging mileage for mileage. Mr. Haynes does not believe the STP-Rural Program could fund the entire project, but $1 million may be available, meaning ITD would need to provide the other $1 million for the environmental and right-of-way work. Because he is not sure that option is realistic, he is pursuing discussions with Kamiah Highway District and Jerome Highway District to assume jurisdiction of SH-64 and SH-25, respectively.
Mr. Haynes said that District 2 is in the process of improving three miles of SH-64, and should complete the project this summer. He believes an additional $600,000 to $700,000 is needed for additional improvements and right-of-way plans, and then the highway district may be receptive to acquiring this approximate 12-mile road. Currently, the local entity is concerned with the lack of right-of-way plans. He also said that funds may be available in the STP-Rural Program for SH-64 projects.
Member Blick expressed concern with a mileage trade due to
the cost of the environmental document and right-of-way plans on the Buhl to
Wendell route. He believes it will be
difficult to find $2 million for that route, so no work will be done on
it. With a mile for mile trade, District
4 could begin work on the Buhl to Wendell highway as its operations budget
allows, according to Mr. Haynes. In
response to Member Blick’s question on the schedule of the transfer, Mr. Haynes
stated that the route would be transferred to the state first, and then brought
up to state standards. Member Blick
commented that the
Member McClure expressed concern that if the environmental and right-of-way projects are funded now at a cost of $2 million, it may be several years before improvements are made to the road. Also, the Environmental Impact Statement would need to be reviewed every three years if no significant work is done on the route.
Mr. Haynes asked if the District could start programming projects on the Buhl to Wendell route as funding allows. He believes Buhl Highway District’s number one priority on the route is climbing lanes on the south side of the river. Member Blick expressed concern with the environmental issues, as there is a lot of water in that area, and also a rock house that is listed on the historical register. Mr. Haynes clarified that an environmental document would not be necessary until federal funds are used.
Member McClure asked if the right-of-way plans are completed now (using state funds), but not the environmental document, could the route later be classified as a federal-aid highway? ACE-D Hutchinson responded that the uniform act and federal procedures must be followed when acquiring right-of-way. What the Department cannot do is pre-prejudice. We cannot use the fact that we own the right-of-way as a reason to put the road in that specific location. We can’t pre-prejudice an environmental document. He added that the results of the feasibility study reduce that risk.
Vice Chairman Combo suggested having District 4 review the SH-46 extension and provide a briefing on various issues, including, but not limited to: options and time frames to bring the road up to state standards, the necessity of an environmental document at this time, and impacts to the District. He added that a commitment was made almost 10 years ago to add this route to the state’s system, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to that effect is in existence, so the Department needs to continue its efforts on this route.
Mr. Haynes said that he will work on the relinquishment of SH-64. Regarding SH-25, he believes the highway district commissioners would be willing to revisit this route, and would be receptive to assuming jurisdiction of this approximately 13-mile highway.
ACTION: Prepare a plan on the feasibility of adding
the Buhl to Wendell road to the state highway system and work with the highway
districts on the relinquishment of SH-25 –
Mr. Haynes questioned the status of the consultant that was selected to complete the environmental document and right-of-way plans for the Buhl to Wendell route. The consultant has been put on hold. It was the consensus of the committee to let the consultant go. Its services would not be needed at this time.
ACE-D Hutchinson believes District 3’s updated report on
this route submitted in November was thorough and addressed a majority of
issues raised at the last Subcommittee meeting. He believes staff is pursuing an on-site visit
of the route by the Tri-Agency in July to determine if there are some things
that were missed in the earlier project or some work that was not done
properly. He believes acquiring some
forest highway funding may be feasible.
ACE-D Hutchinson also believes it would be beneficial to draft an
In reviewing the District’s report, Mr. Haynes believes the potential $400,000 available in the STP-Rural Program he mentioned earlier would be appropriate for a project on the lower section, from Banks to Alder Creek. If that portion is brought up to state standards, the Tri-Agency may be more receptive to improving the other sections of highway. He added that he does not believe the earlier Direct Federal project resulted in a good, maintainable highway. Rock falls are a significant problem. Mr. Haynes supported proceeding with an MOU.
Regarding drafting a legislative package for additional full-time
equivalent positions and equipment to maintain the route, ACE-D Hutchinson
believes an agreement with
The consensus of the Subcommittee was to have a draft MOU
ACTION: Prepare draft MOU, for discussion purposes, to
transfer the Banks to
ACTION: Pursue STP-Rural project in the amount of $400,000 – Haynes. DUE: April 15
US-95B, Bonners Ferry. ACE-D Hutchinson summarized the activities at
SH-64, Re-visited. Mr. Haynes believes Kamiah Highway District will be willing to negotiate a transfer of this route. He said that every road that the highway district maintains intersects SH-64, so this addition to its system will not be a significant maintenance responsibility. He will continue to pursue the highway district’s acquisition of SH-64.
ACTION: Continue pursuing the state’s relinquishment of SH-64 – Haynes. DUE: April 15 (status)
ACTION: Confirm the status of
SH-79, Jerome. Upon the City of
The Subcommittee supported District 4’s efforts to relinquish SH-79.
Although the next meeting date was not confirmed, it will be
in conjunction with the Transportation
The meeting adjourned at .
Respectfully submitted by:
SUE S. HIGGINS