Idaho Transportation Board Subcommittee on


State Highway System Adjustments


December 14, 2004



Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Chuck Winder, Vice Chairman Jack Combo, and Members Monte C. McClure and John McHugh, Local Highway Technical Assistance Council Administrator Joe Haynes, Transportation Planning Administrator (TPA) Charles Rountree, and Assistant Chief Engineer – Development Steve Hutchinson met at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, December 14, 2004 in Room 200 at the Transportation Department, Boise.  Senior Transportation Planner Garry Young, Secretary to the Board Sue Higgins, Director Dave Ekern, Chief Engineer (CE) Jim Ross, and Public Information Officer Jeff Stratten were also present.


The Subcommittee unanimously approved the minutes of the November 17, 2004 meeting.


Subcommittee’s Policy.  TPA Rountree summarized the philosophy of the Subcommittee, which has been to attempt to relinquish miles when miles are added to the state highway system.  The zero sum gain intent limits the value of planning for the future.  Idaho Code has been used for the criteria for decision-making on rural routes.  He said the criteria limits flexibility by relying on numbers rather than analysis.


Director Ekern mentioned the Department’s work on developing a vision for the next 50 years.  The Department listened to its customers regarding their desires.  He believes it is important to establish a new direction, integrating the need to build a system with a statewide perspective; connect major economic facilities such as airports, parks, and ports; evaluate regional system plans from an ownership perspective; and review the current list of routes from a system perspective.


TPA Rountree added that the elements of the system are connecting Idaho, the scenic byway system, the feeder system, plans – both local and regional, and multi-modalism.  These factors should be used to build on the current rating system, with guidance from the Subcommittee and Board.


Chairman Winder believes this discussion is timely due to the strong interest in GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonding.  The Governor is taking a strong interest in transportation and may support the addition of new routes and alignments to the state highway system.


Vice Chairman Combo provided a historical aspect of the Board and Subcommittee.  He believes the Board never intended to have a policy requiring equal mileage on and off the system in 1993.  He believes the policy should be to look at the criteria.


Administrator Haynes reminded the group of the Board’s resolution from 1996 stating that “approximately equal miles exchanged on and off the state system will be necessary”.  Mr. Young concurred with that intent.  He added that based on last month’s discussion, he reviewed the rating system.  He adjusted the criteria to give more weight to the economic criterion by removing the interstate continuity factor.  He has not had an opportunity to review routes on the list to determine what kind of impact that change would have.   Mr. Young also emphasized that the rating criteria is for existing routes; not new alignments.


Director Ekern believes that emphasis should be given to community involvement and planning.


Because the Board had so many requests to add local routes to the state highway system earlier, Vice Chairman Combo said the Board decided to try to remove miles from the state system to address the requests from locals to add miles.  Member McClure added that he believes the zero sum gain philosophy was also a result of the 1990 legislation requiring the state to obtain consent from the appropriate local highway jurisdiction before mileage could be relinquished from the state system. 


Board Member Bruce Sweeney joined the meeting at this time.


In summary, Director Ekern believes the Board’s intent is to manage and develop the state highway system as authorized in Idaho Code, and also to recognize the value of regional and statewide planning.  He believes the four factors are: recognize the value of regional and state planning; be responsive to the intent of Idaho Code; utilize technical analysis; and recognize the importance of economic development and growth. 


The consensus of the Subcommittee was to have staff recommend the philosophy as outlined above at the December 16 Board meeting and then to revise the existing policies, A- and B-09-06, Adjustments to the State Highway System, if need be, for consideration at a future Board meeting.


ACTION:  1) Present the Subcommittee’s philosophy, as outlined above, to the full Board and 2) revise the policy on State Highway System Adjustments, if necessary.  ACTION:  Rountree.  DUE:  1) December 16, 2004 and 2) January 7, 2005


Board Chairman Winder and CE Ross left the meeting at this time.


Proposed Relinquishment, SH-64, District 2.  Administrator Haynes asked for comments on the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the Kamiah Highway District prepared for the state’s relinquishment of SH-64. 


Member Sweeney expressed concern with the $1,083,000 the local entity is requesting.  He visited with District Engineer Carpenter.  ITD expends a minimal amount on the maintenance of SH-64.  He emphasized that the road gets very little traffic.  Additionally, only a portion of SH-64 is in Kamiah Highway District’s boundaries, necessitating another local public entity to assume jurisdiction of the remaining mileage.  Although Member Sweeney does not support the MOU as proposed, he believes the relinquishment of this route should be pursued.


Administrator Haynes said that the lack of right-of-way plans is a concern of the local officials.  Member McClure suggested having DE Carpenter involved in the proposal to relinquish SH-64.


The consensus of the Subcommittee was to have staff negotiate with the appropriate local officials on the state’s relinquishment of SH-64.


ACTION: Visit with Kamiah and Prairie Highway Districts on the relinquishment of SH-64 – Hutchinson (District 2) and Haynes.  DUE:  May 2005.



The meeting adjourned at 4:25 PM.




Respectfully submitted by:



Idaho Transportation Board