State Highway System Adjustments
December 14, 2011
Idaho Transportation Board Subcommittee on State Highway System Adjustments Chairman Gary Blick and Transportation Board Members Lee Gagner, Jim Coleman, and Jerry Whitehead met at 2:10 PM on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at the Idaho Transportation Department, Boise, Idaho. Chief Engineer Tom Cole, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Larry Allen, Executive Assistant to the Board Sue Higgins, District 3 Engineer (DE) Dave Jones, and Planning and Support staff members Sonna Lynn Fernandez and Mary Lockwood were also present. DE1 Damon Allen participated in the first topic via video conference.
Proposed Relinquishment of Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive, District 1. Member Coleman reported that efforts to relinquish old US-10, Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive, to the City of Coeur d’Alene are proceeding. Ownership of the various properties along the route has been identified and staff is preparing a conveyance package.
Member Gagner asked about ITD’s responsibilities after the road is transferred. DE1 Allen replied that issues related to I-90 would be the state’s responsibility. Member Coleman added that ITD’s responsibility is basically from I-90 down to the bottom of the slope.
Member Coleman said the city would like jurisdiction of the road and is exploring a land trade with the Hagdone Corporation to construct a boat ramp. Chairman Blick reiterated the desire to keep the road and property in the public’s hands. He asked if the road could revert back to ITD if the city no longer wants it in the future. DAG Allen replied yes, language to that effect could be incorporated into the agreement with the exception of Higgins Point. That property belongs to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
Member Gagner made a motion authorizing DE1 Allen to proceed with the negotiations. Member Coleman seconded the motion and it passed 3-0 with Chairman Blick and Members Coleman and Gagner voting in the affirmative. Chairman Blick added that this issue needs to be brought back to the Subcommittee.
Local Highway Technical Assistance Council Deputy Administrator Jeff Miles joined the meeting at this time.
Proposed Relinquishment of US-95 Spur, Payette, District 3. DE3 Jones said the City of Payette is interested in assuming jurisdiction of the US-95 Spur in Payette. In exchange, ITD would fund a traffic signal at the US-95 and SH-52 intersection. The estimated cost of the signal is $200,000. He added that the city has done some preliminary work on the traffic signal. DE3 Jones believes he has funding available from savings that could be used to construct the signal.
Chairman Blick commended DE3 Jones for the innovative approach, as it is the Subcommittee’s desire to relinquish routes that do not function as state highways. The general consensus was for DE3 Jones to proceed with finalizing the proposal to fund the traffic signal in exchange for the relinquishment of the US-95 Spur in Payette to the City of Payette. The Subcommittee is to review the agreement prior to taking it to the full Board for consideration.
US-95, Council Alternate Route, District 3. DE3 Jones said the US-95, Council Alternate Route project is in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). He is planning to pursue negotiations with the city to relinquish the old highway after the alternate route has been completed. The existing highway would be improved before it is transferred to Council. He said those improvements would be incorporated into the design of the alternate route project.
The consensus of the Subcommittee was for DE3 Jones to proceed: negotiate with the City of Council and come back to the Subcommittee.
US-2 Curve, Sandpoint, District 1. Member Coleman reported that District 1 and the City of Sandpoint have entered into a memorandum of understanding for ITD to relinquish US-95 and US-2 in Sandpoint to the city upon completion of the US-95, Sandpoint Byway project and the US-2 Curve project.
Vice Chairman Blick expressed support for District 1’s efforts, as the routes to be relinquished will no longer function as state highways upon completion of the US-95 and US-2 construction projects.
Member Whitehead believes SH-55, Eagle Road, should be removed from the state system upon completion of the extension of SH-16 south.
I-84 Business, Caldwell, District 3. DE3 Jones said the City of Caldwell is planning to widen a half-mile stretch of US-20, from Aviation Way east. Although the improvements would be on the state system, the city is planning to pay for them because it believes the improvements would provide economic opportunities. DE3 Jones has had preliminary discussions with city officials regarding ITD making additional improvements to US-20 if Caldwell would assume jurisdiction of I-84 Business. The Business route is approximately eight miles. He received a favorable response and plans to pursue that proposal. A portion of the Business route is in poor shape; however, the District has a project in the STIP to make some improvements. DE3 Jones believes he would need approximately $10-12 million to make the necessary improvements that would result in the city assuming jurisdiction of I-84B.
New Business – I-84 Business, Nampa, District 3. DE3 Jones reported on a very recent discussion with City of Nampa officials regarding I-84 Business in Nampa. The city is interested in realigning SH-45 in downtown Nampa, which currently dead ends at I-84B, to connect with old SH-55 on Nampa Boulevard at I-84 Exit 35. The estimated cost is $20 million; however, the City of Nampa would assume jurisdiction of I-84B.
Chairman Blick expressed support for the two I-84 Business proposals. He encouraged DE3 Jones to pursue negotiations, but cautioned against making commitments, as funding is a concern. DE3 Jones responded that he assumes he would fund the projects from money within his district. Chairman Blick believes savings from elsewhere in the department should be considered, as he supports eliminating mileage from the state system.
Member Coleman added that the maintenance costs for routes such as I-84B add up. ITD spends approximately $80,000 for maintenance on Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive annually, plus occasional projects like seal coats.
The consensus of the Subcommittee was for DE3 Jones to pursue negotiations with the Cities of Caldwell and Nampa on I-84 Business and report back to the Subcommittee. Chairman Blick commended DE3 Jones’s initiative and encouraged him to share these innovative proposals with the other District Engineers.
Both Chairman Blick and Member Gagner supported looking statewide for funding, including shifting projects in the STIP to fund transactions when locals are willing to assume state highways. Member Coleman added that if a proposal makes good economic and operations sense, the Board should find a way to fund it.
The meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
SUE S. HIGGINS
Executive Assistant & Secretary
Idaho Transportation Board