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State Highway System Adjustments
July 18, 2012
Idaho Transportation Board (ITB) Subcommittee on State Highway System Adjustments Chairman Lee Gagner and Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead and Vice Chairman Jim Coleman met at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at the Idaho Transportation Department, District 1 Office, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Chief Engineer (CE) Tom Cole, Deputy Attorney General Larry Allen, Executive Assistant to the Board Sue Higgins, District 1 Engineer (DE) Damon Allen, and Transportation Planning Specialist (TPS) Mary Simmons were also present.
Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. DE Allen said negotiations are continuing with the City of Coeur d’Alene on the relinquishment of Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive. The City Council plans to consider the draft agreement in mid-August. The proposal includes the state’s relinquishment of the route and $3 million. The agreement includes other components, such as ITD’s removal of the bridge and assistance if a significant slide occurs at Redman Hill, impacting the road. Removing the bridge is estimated to cost $300,000.
The Subcommittee expressed support for the proposal. After the City Council considers the agreement, it is to be presented to the Subcommittee, which will then make a recommendation to the full board.
Proposed Revisions to Idaho Code. CE Cole said efforts are underway to clean up 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. That section conflicts with Idaho Code 40-203(b), which states that the board cannot abandon a highway unless the impacted local public agency agrees to assume jurisdiction of that route. At the ITB meeting tomorrow, the board will be asked for approval to submit this legislative idea to the Division of Financial Management.
Old/New Business. DE Allen reported on the US-2, Curve project in Sandpoint. The roundabout was only one of several concepts being considered; however, it received the most attention, resulting in concerns from the trucking industry. He believes the final design will consist of a three-lane couplet system and signalized intersection.
CE Cole added that the Federal Highway Administration will not require five lanes at this time. Constructing three lanes now with capacity to add lanes in the future will be acceptable.
DE Allen said the project is estimated to cost $7 million, but stressed that funding is needed now for the District to proceed with the design of the project. The City of Sandpoint is still interested in assuming jurisdiction of the downtown state highways once the US-95 Byway and US-2 Curve projects are constructed.
Member Coleman made a motion to proceed with the US-2 Curve project: for staff to explore funding options to present to the ITB. Member Whitehead seconded the motion and it passed unopposed.
Local Highway Technical Assistance Council Administrator Lance Holmstrom joined the meeting at this time.
Policies/Procedures. Discussion was held on Board Policy B-09-06, State Highway System Adjustments. TPS Simmons presented a revised policy that clarifies membership of the Subcommittee and removes references to the point rating system. She is still working on revisions to the rating criteria and the corresponding Administrative Policy.
Member Coleman made a motion to approve the revisions to B-09-06 and submit the revised policy to the ITB with a recommendation to approve it. Member Whitehead seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
CE Cole said the rating criteria will include safety, mobility, and economic opportunity. He asked if the Subcommittee should be informed of all potential transactions before staff acts on a proposal. The consensus was yes, staff is to inform the Subcommittee and receive guidance before pursing proposed transactions. CE Cole said staff will continue refining the rating system and administrative policy and submit the proposed revisions to the Subcommittee. The intent is to remove the rating criteria from A-09-06 and incorporate that information into a manual, such as the corridor guide. All routes will be re-rated based on the new system.
Old Business. TPS Simmons reported that DE3 Dave Jones received an informal request to add Simco Road to the state highway system.
Member Coleman suggested revisiting SB1313, which provides financial assistance to highway jurisdictions responsible for routes that connect rail sidings to hazardous waste facilities. He believes financial assistance should be provided for major corridors that provide access to hazardous waste facilities, not just from the rail transfer site. Revisions to the legislation would provide financial assistance for Simco Road from I-84. He indicated he may visit with the sponsor of SB1313 on expanding the legislation, including the feasibility of making it retroactive.
The meeting adjourned at 4:40 PM.
Respectfully submitted by:
SUE S. HIGGINS
Executive Assistant & Secretary
Idaho Transportation Board