May 15, 2009
Rough Road Ahead
Motorists pay hidden costs for deteriorating highways
Keeping the nation’s highways in good repair is a daily battle against age, weather and the wear and tear of unrelenting traffic. As a result, 33 percent of the nation’s major highways are rated in poor or mediocre condition, according to a new report, Rough Roads Ahead: Fix Them Now or Pay for It Later. And rough roads cost drivers hundreds of additional dollars annually in vehicle operating costs.
Idaho drivers face additional vehicle costs of $318 because of road conditions
The results of a collaborative national study released last week confirmed what many Americans – including Idahoans – already knew. From coast to coast, and border to border, the condition of our highways continues to deteriorate.
Investment needed to preserve highways
Killer potholes. In a flash they can dislodge a hubcap, shred a tire, or even worse, cause a driver to lose control of a car. But they can also be a symptom of a much deeper problem – deteriorating pavement that takes much more to repair than a simple patch.
A glance at an emerging crisis
One-third of the nation’s highways – interstates, freeways and major roads – are in poor or mediocre condition, according to Federal Highway Administration data.
Director Pam Lowe and Deputy Director Scott Stokes (right) met with ITD employees in the Headquarters Auditorium and, via video conference, with district personnel Friday afternoon to explain the department's emphasis on Performance Management.
The initial session will be repeated Monday (May 18), from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Employees are asked to participate Monday or view a video of the presentations that will be available later to become familiar with the program. It will become a foundation for all decisions and actions. (See related story.)
Board to consider stimulus funding for enhancement projects
The Idaho Transportation Board next week will consider a request of nearly $5.5 million in funding for enhancement projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Those enhancement funds are in addition to the $182 million allocated to Idaho for “shovel-ready” highway construction projects and $18.4 million for transit projects.
Avalanche program reduces Idaho 21 closures
The month of May brings images of daffodils, tulips and other early spring bulbs, as well as the color of green returning to lawns and trees. In Idaho’s high country, however, white still dominates nature’s canvas as the remnants of winter’s snowpack slowly turns to spring runoff.
For ITD’s avalanche team, May 1 signals the end of digging snow pits and collecting data, and preparation of a season-ending report.
Flycaster club appreciates a clean environment
It’s not like dragging an old boot from their favorite fishing hole, but members of the Kelly Creek Flycasters find their share of interesting items when they clean the shoulders of U.S. 12. The Lewiston-based fishing group adopted a two-mile section of the highway (between mileposts 158 and 160) because they camp and fish on the nearby Lochsa River and want to maintain the area’s pristine beauty – dry land and water.
ITD 'full-court press' helps new Canyon County office open on time
Less than a week before moving to the new location on Graye Lane north of Cleveland Boulevard, ITD’s Enterprise Technology Services network staff discovered a potential setback. The network lines to the new office’s Division of Motor Vehicles terminals were routed through a county-owned network designed primarily for telephone service.
Applications accepted for annual ACE Academy
Navigating small airplanes, controlling air traffic and exploring Blackhawk helicopters are all part of the Aviation Career Exploration (ACE) Academy, June 29-July 2, hosted by the Idaho Transportation Department's Division of Aeronautics. Thirty teenagers will have the opportunity to participate in the academy, which is open to high school students ages 14-18. Applications must be postmarked by May 30.
State to discontinue paper paycheck stubs
The State Controller’s office announced last week that it will discontinue the printing of pay stuffs for employees who participate in direct deposit, effective June 12 .Employees who do not have access to an Internet-connected computer at work or home are advised to contact payroll staff, said State Controller Donna M. Jones.
D-4 honors employees for longevity
Walter Burnside still busted out in song and Dianna Schlund got an expensive present, but it wasn’t anybody’s birthday. More like hundreds of years of ITD experience being rewarded. Thirty-two individuals were recognized on during the District 4 Employee Benefit Fund Longevity Awards luncheon. Twenty-eight others received their 2008 safety awards.
Open enrollment period opens for insurance
Open enrollment continues through June 3. During Open enrollment, employees may switch from one medical plan to another, add previously declined dependent dental coverage, change their pre- or post-tax premium withholding status, or enroll/re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Account program.
• Shop crew creates sign for the times
Governor, legislators agree on $57 million compromise
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter was joined by legislative leaders from the Idaho House and Senate today (Friday, May 8) in applauding a $57 million compromise agreement and committing to a united path forward on addressing Idaho’s long-term transportation infrastructure needs.
Thanks for your many contributions
Because of your combined efforts, Idaho citizens use our transportation system with confidence. They know highways will be plowed in the winter and repaired and restriped in the summer. They know licensing and titling questions will be resolved quickly and completely. They know we are preparing mobility options for present and future needs. They realize that a strong economy depends on a strong transportation system.
Employees asked to attend or view sessions
ITD administrators will discuss the department’s renewed commitment to organizational values and performance management during several sessions beginning Friday (May 15) at 1:30 p.m. The essence of a two-day training session this week in Boise will be shared with all ITD employees in the next two weeks, explains Director Pam Lowe. The expectation is that employees will schedule a time to participate in the May 15 session or a sequel planned for Monday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m.
PM will become core of strategic planning
Performance Management is a system that lends itself well to the functions of a transportation department, explains ITD Director Pam Lowe. It is an on-going process that translates strategic goals to relevant and detailed measures, which then are tracked to ensure uniform achievement of institutional goals. Implementation by other departments has created breakthrough performance improvements.
Salaries will remain same for coming fiscal year
The 2009 legislative session (concluded) today after a difficult year of revenue shortfalls, stimulus funding and transportation issues. Throughout this session you and your staff have continued to deliver outstanding service to the citizens of Idaho. During the session there was a great deal of discussion on the issue of funding for state employees.
Employees pause to appreciate each other
Employees at Headquarters paused to appreciate each other with a variety of other activities, including educational presentations in the Auditorium, free chair massages, a pasta lunch, cake and ice cream, a fitness walk, prize drawings and a “dress like your favorite personality” event.
Garvee program receives national safety award for training
Idaho’s largest public works program involves not just new roadways and bridges, but miles of new work zones. The GARVEE Transportation Program won first place this spring in a national work zone safety competition for its statewide training program. The award, presented by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) on March 10, is given annually to organizations that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to safety training.
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