October 29, 2010

Draft of long-range plan presented, available for review
A draft of “Idaho on the Move: A Long-Range Plan to Improve Safety, Mobility and Economic Vitality,” was presented to the board at Thursday’s meeting. The plan describes policy, principles and investment strategies for a 20-year period. The long-range goals are to improve transportation safety, enhance mobility, and support Idaho’s economic vitality. It is not a list of specific projects or investments.

U.S. 12 spill monitoring scaled back for winter
A coalition of public and private environmental experts continues to monitor the effects of a Sept. 29 diesel spill near the Lochsa River on U.S. 12., although activity will be limited by the arrival of winter weather. The contractors (working on behalf of trucking company Keller Transport) will continue to operate and monitor recovery wells drilled near the highway and Lochsa River through the winter.

Adopt-A-Highway groups ready for northern Idaho sweeps
Bright orange trash bags are popping up throughout northern Idaho as Adopt-A-Highway groups begin the fall clean up on the state's highways in five northern counties. There are 182 groups cleaning 329 miles of roadway on the state highway system in the five northern counties.

Highway safety
Patrols looking for aggressive drivers
More than 100 people die as a result of aggressive driving crashes each year in Idaho. Many of those people possibly would be alive today if they had been safely buckled in their motor vehicles. Federal grant funds make it possible for ITD to partner with Idaho law enforcement agencies to make state highways safer by funding education campaigns and high-visibility aggressive driving enforcement patrols through Nov. 14.

In memoriam
Bridge retiree Ray Keller
Ray Keller, who worked for ITD more than 36 years, passed away from natural causes on Oct 28, 2010. Ray began his career at ITD in June 1971 at District 5 but was laid off only a few months later. In 1972 he came back for good. Ray held various positions in the then-technician series in construction, design and location. He showed an interest in bridges from the beginning and worked on several bridge construction projects, including the Soda Springs Overpass, Massacre Rocks and the Quinn Road overpass.


Korby Hansen update
District 6's Korby Hansen continues to improve following an accidental gunshot. Sandy Holder, D-6 personnel technician, reported late this week that Korby is breathing on his own and moving his arms and legs."They are, of course, still watching him very closely and monitoring his every move. And as long as he doesn't get too tired or over excited, they will just keep moving along toward getting him our of intensive care." Hansen was injured Oct. 15 as he and a partner were finishing a hunting excursion near the Snake River Bridge between Rigby and Rexburg. He was shot in the arm and chest by another hunter. Anyone who would like to send Hansen a get-well card can contact Holder at the D-6 office.

State employees invited to compare insurance quotes
Comparison shopping for auto and home insurance is available to state employees through a new State of Idaho Auto & Home Insurance program. Participating companies that can offer quotes are MetLife Auto & Home, Liberty Mutual and Travelers. Employees interested in obtaining quotes and possibly changing insurance carriers do not have to wait for renewal of their present insurance. Select "continue" to check the insurance announcement.

ITD Mailbox
A credit to the department

Published October 22, 2010

Cell phone use
ITD prohibits use of cell phones, similar devices while driving state vehicles/equipment

All ITD employees,
Safety is a key objective of ITD Executive Management. Safety is part of the department’s strategic plan; it is one of our performance measures; and it is one of the key objectives in the new long-range system plan. Since safety on the roadways receives such high attention for those who travel on Idaho’s highways, it is equally important to management that employees set an example to others and be as safe as possible.

Tolman named new strategic funding specialist
"I am pleased to announce Dave Tolman has assumed a position as the department’s new strategic funding specialist effective Monday (Oct. 25), ” ITD Director Brian Ness said. “Dave’s extensive knowledge of the budgeting process and understanding of federal and state financing will be invaluable in addressing three critical issues facing the department.”

Fitness challenge honors go to District 5
District 5 employees ran circles around their colleagues from throughout the state this year – or perhaps they could have, judging from final results in the annual ITD fitness challenge. More than half of the District 5 participants (51 percent) completed the 10-week event. District 1 was a distant second, followed closely by District 2 (37 percent) and District 4 (33 percent). Districts 3 and 6 finished with 26 percent and 24 percent completion rates.


Traffic Safety Commission
FHWA official: Driving culture needs to change
Reducing fatalities and serious injuries on Idaho highways will take more than infrastructure improvements and more than the traditional focus on engineering, education, enforcement and emergency responses. Saving lives will require a cultural shift - a fundamental change in driver behavior, insists Joe Toole, Federal Highway Administration's associate administrator for safety. He was among the authorities who spoke Wednesday at the annual Idaho Traffic Safety Commission meeting in Boise.


Madison County pair receive national safety award
Sheriff Roy C. Klingler and Lt. Cameron Stanford of the Madison County Sheriff's Office were honored this week for outstanding commitment to multi-jurisdictional law enforcement efforts in Idaho. The two received National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "Safety Champion Awards" from John M. Moffat, NHTSA regional administrator for the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The presentation took place during an Idaho Traffic Safety Commission meeting hosted by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in Boise.

Centennial of Flight
Saturday observance ready for takeoff
Clouds, rainbows, birds and the sun. Until 1910, there wasn’t much else in the skies over Lewiston. Or anywhere else in Idaho. No jet trails. No commercial flights. No private aircraft. That changed on Oct. 13, 1910, when James J. Ward of Chicago maneuvered a simple biplane off the ground from a primitive airstrip in Clarkston, Wash., crossed the Snake River and cast a shadow of his craft over Lewiston.


Remember when? Milestones in Idaho aviation
It began in 1910 and remains a centerpiece for Idaho travel, commerce, economy...


Idaho 55 drivers owe ITD heartfelt 'thanks'
For the last 10 weeks, motorists who normally use Idaho 55 to travel between McCall and Donnelly have felt like refugees, unable to easily find their way to or from their homes. But now the work is over, and those people - or at least those who represent them - should stop and say a word of thanks to the Idaho Transportation Department.