Idaho Transportation

Office of Communications
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707
Fax: 208.334.8563

June 12, 2009

Transportation board
Workshop, business meeting planned in Boise
The Idaho Transportation Board will begin a three-day meeting in Boise next week with a workshop that focuses on the allocation of resources. The budget proposal will consider ITD’s priorities of operations, preservation, restoration and expansion. The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday (June 17) at the District 3 office on Chinden Boulevard. A regular monthly business meeting will follow on Thursday, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and a concluding tour of major District 3 construction projects is planned for Friday.

Bids opened on three new stimulus-funded projects
Bids were opened Tuesday on three highway construction projects in Idaho that will use federal stimulus funding, the Idaho Transportation Department announced. Bids were opened last week on Idaho's first highway stimulus project, U.S. 95 Moscow Mountain passing lanes. Bids on a new Vista Interchange on Interstate 84; widening of Interstate 86 in Chubbuck/Pocatello; widening of Idaho 48 near Rigby and phase two of the Twin Falls Alternate Route will be open in June and July.

Moving van fire shows importance of agreements
Fire engulfed the trailer of a moving van on U.S. 95 south of Grangeville two weeks ago, consuming the trailer contents and igniting a 10-acre fire along the highway shoulder. Idaho’s primary north-south highway was blocked for approximately three hours while responders extinguished the fire and cleared the debris during the busy weekend travel.


Weigh In Motion scale repairs should extend life span
ITD’s Port of Entry system recently had work done on the three Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) scales in Idaho – in Boise and Lewiston – to prolong the useful life of the scales. The work, performed by the same contractor that installed the WIM scales, International Road Dynamics (IRD), involved removal of dirt and grease build-up and anything else that could hinder the WIM technology or the scales themselves.


Installation of new phone system bringing changes
Telephone connections between the districts and Headquarters will change with introduction of a new phone system, explains Dave Merriweather of the Enterprise Technology Services Project Management Office. The new VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) recently was installed in districts 4 and 6; other districts will follow,

New partners join PerksCard program
The Perks pot has gotten a little sweeter. A number of businesses recently joined the family of ITD friends that offer great discounts and savings for employees who present their PerksCard. The program, which is free to ITD employees, provides cardholders and their families discounts from “featured merchants.” In addition to local discounts, the PerksCard gives employees the ability to save through online shopping, printable coupons and gift card purchases.

Highway safety

Aggressive drivers put on notice: chill or pay bill

Tailgating, changing lanes without notice, speeding, running yellow lights, or ignoring traffic signs makes you an aggressive driver and ITD wants you to know that law enforcement patrols will be watching for you. The transportation department joins with law enforcement agencies across Idaho to make the state's highways safer by funding increased aggressive driving enforcement patrols June 12-21.

Friends gather to bid farewell to Raino
Patti Raino traveled a long and winding road through 29 years with the Idaho Transportation Department, and she saw a lot of that road from the seat of a bicycle. Raino often rode her bicycle to work at ITD Headquarters – a reflection of her commitment to improving the environment through alternative transportation and maintaining good health through exercise. She retired May 29 as Intermodal Planning Manager for the Division of Transportation Planning.

Home safety
Safety guidelines offered on home gasoline storage
Warmer weather has arrived and with it comes an array of gasoline powered tools and toys that go into use. Whether it is a lawn mower, ATV, leaf blower or boat it may use gasoline. This is a season when people often increase the volume of gasoline stored on their property, according to the Ada City-County Emergency Management office. June is National Safety Month so here are some tips from the American Petroleum Institute on safe handling and storage of gasoline.

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An ITD 10-wheel truck proved to be more exciting than a piece of new playground equipment for kindergarten students in Cascade recently.  Megan Conner, whose father Dan works for the Cascade Maintenance section arranged for truck to visit Cascade Elementary School May 29. Students were especially enthralled with the horn and tarp that covers the truck bed. Dan also took the opportunity to give the kids a safety lesson.

Please share information about your accomplishments or those of your colleagues with the ITD community. Send contributions to the e-mail link above.

Published previously

Highway stimulus projects
Moscow Mountain passing lane bids opened Tuesday

Bids were opened Tuesday on the first highway construction project in Idaho that will use federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Debco Construction of Orofino is the apparent low bidder on the U.S. 95, Moscow Mountain Passing Lane project north of Moscow in Latah County. Debco bid $2.7 million on the project. Construction is expected to begin in mid-July and should be complete late this fall. The contract allows 70 working days.

Airport kiosk to help explain I-84 changes

With as many as six major highway construction projects expected to occur simultaneously on Interstate 84 by late summer/early fall, getting the word out to motorists is crucial to maintain public safety. That’s why ITD partnered with the Boise Municipal Airport to design and build a video kiosk that informs travelers of what to expect along the busy corridor … and when.

Volunteers remove winter leftovers from backcountry airstrip
A small army of volunteers descended on the Magee Airstrip east of Coeur d’Alene recently to remove residuals of a long winter and a noncompliant nearby creek. Early inspections showed more winter leftovers at the backcountry airstrip than usual because of a long, hard winter and a creek that escaped its banks, explained airport manager Gary McElheney. The popular grass airstrip needed some additional help.

A first-hand look at Idaho's hidden gems
When the offer came out in early April to the Office of Communications to fill a seat on a backcountry airstrip flight to take pictures and document the journey, I thought wow this is going to be one special trip. Being the “new guy” I waited until everybody had the chance to say yes, then I said, “Well if nobody else can go, I will.”

Pilot program enables employees to change personal data
ITD began a pilot a project this week that allows employees at Headquarters an option to change their home address through the State Controller’s Web site.  The process uses the same Web site where employees currently make health and dental insurance changes during open enrollment, view online pay stubs, view online W-2 forms, etc.

Presentation offers tips on avoiding identity theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, costing victims more than $5 billion each year, so the Headquarters’ Safety Committee sponsored two well-attended presentations Wednesday on how to protect against the crime.


HRD provides variety of support services
In an effort to support ITD’s employees to do their best thinking and produce their most effective work, the Human Resource Development Unit offers a variety of support services to supervisors and managers.  Training, which is often the first option considered by supervisors to address poor employee or workgroup performance and behavior, is only one of many interventions that might better improve behavior and performance. See flier for more information.

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ITD employees from District 5 volunteered to spend the morning of May 18 supporting the 9th annual “Field of Heroes” at Century High School in Pocatello. Roger Ellis, Jeremy Gough, Kathy Buffat and Ryen Johnson assisted organizers from the Yellow Ribbon Campaign in installing a small white cross representing every U.S. military fatality in the Afghanistan and Iraq War on Terrorism.  The columns containing 120 crosses each were placed using survey methods and equipment to keep the lines straight and the spaces even.