March 14, 2008
Report to summarize use of anti- and de-icers
ITD’s use of magnesium chloride to improve wintertime driving conditions will be reviewed for members of the Idaho Transportation Board Wednesday at the regular monthly board meeting Wednesday. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Headquarters auditorium. ITD began using the anti-icing treatment in 1988 and has refined the process the past two decades.
Research project to inventories airfield history
Retirement and long winters in southeast Idaho enable Rodger Sorensen to combine two passions and produce a valuable historic resource. Sorensen, who is chairman of the Aeronautics Advisory Board, has long been interested in history and aviation. He is melding the interests into a comprehensive inventory of Idaho airfields – both past and present – with the intent of archiving the information and storing it on the transportation department’s Web site.
Avalanche mitigation program reduces Idaho 21 closures
Avalanche-related closures on Idaho 21 have been significantly reduced this winter through the use of explosives that bring down unstable snow before it slides and blocks the highway. The highway, one of Idaho's popular winter recreation routes and host to the vast majority of the state's avalanches, is typically closed 60 days per year. But this winter – one of he hardest in recent years – Idaho 21 has been closed just 28 days, largely because of ITD’s pre-emptive measures.
Crews turn from plowing to spring preparations
It’s been a long time since the flurries of snow have required the muster of District 4 snowplows and their drivers into full action. Nothing more than isolated storms have covered southern Idaho roads since early February, leaving a lot of time for ITD crews to catch up on maintenance jobs.
See District 4 newsletter, Interchange
Metropolitan highways giving motorists rough ride
Twenty-three percent of the nation’s major metropolitan roads – interstates, freeways and other critical local routes – have pavements in poor condition, resulting in rough rides and costing the average urban motorist $413 annually in additional vehicle operating costs due to accelerated vehicle deterioration, additional maintenance needs and increased fuel consumption, according to a new report released this week by TRIP, a national transportation research group.
Volunteers help ITD overcome language barriers
An increasingly diverse society and work environment dictate that communication be available to constituents in a variety of formats. ITD is responding to the needs of its clients by offering language assistance on an impromptu basis for customers who do not speak English fluently. To help improve language services provided at Headquarters and District 3, Karen Sparkman generated an Intranet-based list of about 18 ITD employees who are available on a limited basis to help communicate with customers.
Idaho among nation's average for safety laws
Most states, including Idaho, earned average grades in a nationwide report card that tracks state progress toward enacting key traffic safety laws. The annual report was issued recently by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates). In its fifth annual report, the “2008 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws,” the group graded each state and the District of Columbia based on their adoption of 15 recommended traffic laws related to seat belts, child booster seats and motorcycle helmet use. It also evaluated efforts to strengthen teenage driving and impaired driving statutes.
Where Idaho laws fall short of safety ideals
The “2008 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws” report cards graded states on whether or not they adopted 15 model laws. Idaho falls short in the following areas:
Driver turns Interstate 84 into obstacle course
It’s a relatively simple and logical requirement when driving through highway work zones – don’t turn the highway segment into an obstacle course defined by orange safety markers (otherwise known as candlesticks). Those upright tubular markers aren’t intended to be targets.
Patience made CDL process easier
Formal farewell planned for retired board member Combo
ITD and the transportation community will assemble Thursday in Boise to bid a formal farewell to Jack Combo who retired from the board in January. A reception is planned from 9 a.m. to 11 am. in the Headquarters Auditorium. Mr. Combo served ITD, the board and state for 18 years, missing only five meetings during that span. He has been a champion of ITD employees and continuing educational opportunities. He also was a voice for strong fiscal stewardship and maintained a statewide perspective when debating transportation needs. Please join ITD, the board members and friends in saying thank you for nearly two decades of faithful service.
JFAC approves, forwards $492.4 million FY09 budget
With limited discussion and only minor changes, the Legislature’s Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee approved ITD’s fiscal year 2009 budget as proposed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. In contrast to other budget-setting sessions that sometimes required a morning of deliberation, JFAC needed less than two hours to approve and send to the full House and Senate the department’s budget appropriation and the GARVEE Program request.
Bus tour provides policymakers, media look at I-84 projects
An informational bus tour this week showcased several construction projects planned on Interstate 84 in Nampa and Meridian as part of the state’s GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) Transportation Program. Nearly 30 Idaho lawmakers joined city leaders from Meridian and Nampa, local officials, and members of the Treasure Valley media on the bus tour Tuesday (March 4).
Revised style guide to help consistency
Do you know how to make a phone call to District 1 on the state’s microwave system? Have you ever wondered how to properly format a multi-page letter on ITD letterhead? Would you like some helpful hints in dealing with e-mail? If so, you will want to get a copy of the new ITD Style and Communications Guide.