State Highway System Adjustments
June 12, 2012
Idaho Transportation Board Subcommittee on State Highway System Adjustments Chairman Lee Gagner and Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead, Vice Chairman Jim Coleman, and Members Julie DeLorenzo and Dwight Horsch met at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at the Idaho Transportation Department, Boise, Idaho. Chief Engineer (CE) Tom Cole, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Larry Allen, Executive Assistant to the Board Sue Higgins, District 3 Engineer (DE) Dave Jones, Transportation Planning Specialist (TPS) Mary Simmons, and Government Affairs Manager (GAM) Mollie McCarty were also present.
Senate Bill 1313. GAM McCarty said SB1313 was enacted during the 2012 session to provide financial assistance for highway jurisdictions responsible for routes that connect rail sidings to hazardous waste facilities. Currently, US Ecology near Grand View is the only facility that qualifies for this funding. The funding is derived from disposal fees collected from owner/operators of commercial hazardous waste disposal facilities that connect with rail transfer facilities. Impacted roads are Simco Road and SH-167 in Elmore County and SH-78 in Owyhee County. ITD will receive approximately $24,000 in FY13, $48,000 in FY14, and $120,000 in each fiscal year thereafter.
In response to Chairman Gagner’s question on what the funds can be used for, DE Jones replied maintenance, such as snowplow operations, intersection improvements, and signs. When ITD assumed jurisdiction of SH-167, it entered into an agreement with the local highway district for the local entity to maintain the route. DE Jones would like to assume those maintenance responsibilities and relinquish other mileage to locals. He added that during discussions with local officials last week, he was asked if the state would be receptive to adding Simco Road to its system.
Proposed Revisions to Idaho Code. CE Cole summarized Idaho Code 40-310 regarding the board’s authority to abandon highways and those procedures, including holding a public hearing and issuing a decision within 10 days after the hearing. Idaho Code 40-203(b) basically states that the Board cannot abandon a highway unless the impacted local public agency agrees to assume jurisdiction of that route.
DAG Allen clarified that the board can delegate authority to conduct a public hearing; however, the 10-day time frame to issue a finding is a concern. CE Cole said the Design Manual outlines the project development steps, including the requirement for public hearings when system actions are involved. The Manual directs staff to take the “10 day” requirement into consideration and schedule accordingly to accommodate board meetings. He added that additional time, 30 days for example, would be better.
Additional discussion followed on addressing the concerns with the established procedures in 40-310, notably the 10-day time frame, and the conflict with 40-203(b).
Member DeLorenzo made a motion to submit proposed legislation deleting approximately the last two-thirds of 40-310(1)(a) and all of (b), (c), and (d): eliminating the language requiring the board to hold a public hearing in the city where the board is considering abandoning that highway and the related procedures. Member Horsch seconded the motion and it passed 3-0.
ACTION: Pursue legislation as noted above (delete a portion of 40-310)
ASSIGNED TO: CE DUE: 7/02/12
Policies/Procedures. Discussion was held on Board Policy B-09-06, State Highway System Adjustments. It was noted that the requirement that all system actions be presented to the Board Subcommittee for consideration before staff undertakes any actions or studies is not always followed. Occasionally District Engineers start discussions with locals before the Subcommittee is briefed on the proposed transaction; however, the board has been encouraging District Engineers to relinquish routes that do not function as state highways. The make-up of the Subcommittee, including the voting members, and the rating system were also discussed. The consensus was to refer to the rating system in the Board Policy and to elaborate on that system in the corresponding Administrative Policy.
TPS Lockwood distributed information on the current rating system. She asked the Subcommittee members to review the document and submit comments to her.
Member Horsch made a motion to revise the membership of the Subcommittee in B-09-06 (retaining the two permanent board members plus one additional member based on the agenda) and identify the voting members. Member DeLorenzo seconded the motion and it passed 3-0.
CE Cole said staff will continue reviewing A-09-06, specifically the rating system, and present some options to the Subcommittee in July. DAG Allen noted that the A policy revisions may take several meetings to finalize.
Member DeLorenzo made a motion to delete the paragraph in B-09-06 referencing the requirement of a minimum point rating of 70 to recommend routes for addition and below 30 for a recommendation to remove a route from the system, and for staff to provide options to the Sub-committee on the criteria to rate routes. Member Horsch seconded the motion and it passed 3-0.
ACTION: Revise B-09-06, State Highway System Adjustments and continue refining A-09-06, including the rating system.
ASSIGNED TO: CE DUE: 7/03/12
Old/New Business. Member Coleman said the City of Coeur d’Alene has made revisions to the proposed agreement to transfer Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive to the City. It has concerns with the slide area (Redman Hill) and requested additional compensation. Work is continuing on the negotiations and he believes the final agreement will be ready for the Subcommittee’s consideration next month.
Sandpoint-area truckers have submitted a letter opposing a round-about in Sandpoint as an alternative for the US-2, Curve project, according to Member Coleman. He added that the Federal Highway Administration indicated that five lanes will be required for a US-2 realignment; however, ITD believes three lanes will be sufficient. CE Cole will look into that issue.
Member Whitehead reported on a concern that was recently brought to his attention. A local road near Twin Falls has experienced damage due to numerous trucks accessing a gravel pit to construct a yogurt plant. CE Cole said ITD has language in its specifications stating the department will put a local road back in the condition it was if the road is damaged due to traffic accessing gravel sources from that road. If ITD causes damage to local roads, it repairs those roads.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
SUE S. HIGGINS
Executive Assistant & Secretary
Idaho Transportation Board