March 4, 2011
President signs extension of transportation funding
President Barack Obama signed into law a measure today (March 4) that extends until Sept. 30 federal highway and transit programs that had been slated to expire tonight. The seven-month extension averts a suspension of reimbursements from the U.S. Department of Transportation to the states for their ongoing surface transportation improvement projects, as occurred last March when a similar extension was delayed, and allows states to continue to commit projects just in time for the construction season to begin in earnest.
Nampa middle school girls explore engineering careers
Groups of eighth-grade girls sat at tables, intently folding and taping paper into different shapes and guessing which shape could support the most weight. The circular pillar was the easy winner, supporting at least five reams of paper. As the session moved on to other topics, one group of girls from Nampa's West Middle School stayed on the ream-stacking task. Intrigued by the possibilities, they fashioned a tall, narrow paper cylinder that didn't collapse until the seventh ream touched down. They drew praise but weren't satisfied.
Mary Harker honored as 'Woman Making History'
When asked what she does as the Chief Human Resource Officer at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), Mary Harker laughs, “I think there’s people inside the organization that would have the same question.” Mary is responsible for 1,826 full-time employees through the human resource programs she administers, including her 21-member staff that specializes in compensation, classification, recruitment, benefits and training.
District 5 foreman injured in I-15 crash Saturday
Pocatello maintenance foreman Claylon Perkins joined Idaho State Police officers Saturday morning to help clear a vehicle crash on Interstate 15, near Exit 67 when he became a victim of the icy conditions. Perkins, 55, stepped from his 2009 GMC Sierra pickup truck to assist ISP officers after a single-vehicle crash on the slick freeway shortly after 8 a.m. Moments later, a driver traveling at “freeway” speeds also lost control on the slick highway and crashed into the back of Perkins’ truck.
Gary Moles rides into sunset of retirement
District 3 Maintenance Engineer Gary Moles stepped aside Friday (March 4) after nearly 32 years at ITD to pursue a retirement filled with classic cars, fishing and grandchildren. Moles always characterized his role as that of an offensive lineman, leading the charge and opening holes for others to run through. As a hard-charging lineman, he was a Region 4 Resident Engineer for three years before becoming the district’s main maintenance man in February of 2009.
Airport system study, plan gains national honor
Recognition of Idaho’s Airport System Plan, completed in 2010, reached new heights recently when it earned a national award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The study and subsequent plan that will guide future investments in Idaho’s airport system received ACEC’s 2011 Engineering Excellence Award (EEA) in national competition – the “Academy Awards” of the engineering industry.
Good highways begin at the bottom
Work your way up. That's good advice for a career and good advice for building a
highway, too. The foundation comes before the pavement. Substructure comes before superstructure. But what of the ground beneath? Is it firm enough? Will it hold up the structure for its life span. Enter five guys – not the restaurant, but Materials and the Materials Section.
Careening semi damages I-84 guardrail, bridge
A westbound semi truck left its mark -- a trail of destruction -- on s bridge and guardrail near Mountain Home Tuesday.
Impaired patrols nab more than DUIs
Ensuring safe travel on Idaho's highways is a prime reason for high visibility education and enforcement campaigns that target impaired driving, such as one planned statewide for March 11-21. ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety works with partners statewide to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes by utilizing federal funds to address dangerous driving behaviors. This effort is part of the department's commitment to achieve a goal of zero deaths on Idaho's highways.
Icon to present free workshop Thursday
Icon Credit Union, created as a financial institution for the transportation community, will present a one-hour workshop on protecting your home while at the same time planning for long-term health care. The free workshop will be Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Riverside, 2900 W. Chinden in Boise.
Published February 25, 2011
Installation of HQ telephones goes smoothly
Installation of approximately 700 new Cisco telephones that use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) last weekend went smoothly and was completed slightly faster than expected at Headquarters. Crews began replacing telephones about 5 p.m. Friday (Feb. 18) and finished by Saturday afternoon, reported Bill Finke, who coordinated the technical installation. Goodwill Staffing provided about a dozen temporary workers who were matched with ITD employees and divided into teams of three or four to complete the process.
Be careful when dialing long distance
Apparently, it easier with the new Cisco telephone system to inadvertently place an emergency 911 and trigger unintended responses. “Since we have changed over to the new Cisco phone system we are having an abundance of 911 misdials. It is possible to inadvertently dial 911 if you are placing a long distance call,” explained Dianna Magstadt of Human Resource Services.
D-6 snowplow driver uninjured in crash
ITD snowplow driver Michael Harvey escaped injury this week when the blade of his truck was hit by a semi-truck. Harvey was clearing snow on a four-lane segment of U.S. 26 near Ririe when a 2003 Peterbilt truck, driven by Craig A. Murdock, attempted to pass and hit the plow blade. The crash sent both vehicles into a field but resulted in no injuries.
Vandalism to Idaho 21 signs could create hazard for motorists
Recent vandalism at the Mores Creek Bridge project at Lucky Peak Reservoir, east of Boise on Idaho 21, is costly and could compromise public safety. The vandalism not only involved theft, but also tampering with Traffic Control Safety Devices on the project, including the Portable Traffic Signals and the Portable Message Signs.