ITD Announces the 2009 Excellence in Transportation Award Winners

View Photos of Winning Projects

Transportation Planning

Project: SH-75, Timmerman to Ketchum EIS
Submitting Agency: Parsons Brinckerhoff

Project Description:
Initiated in 2000, Parson Brinckerhoff (PB) prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for 27 miles of highway in Blaine County between US-20 (Timmerman Junction) and the resort area of Ketchum/Sun Valley. A Record of Decision was issued in August 2008 after a much coordinated effort of utilizing various transportation modeling tools (CORSIM, SimTraffic, VISSIM) to properly forecast future travel demands and assist in garnering project support.

Since no travel demand model existed for this project area, extensive data was collected through an intercept survey of SH-57; typical gathering of traffic counts, travel times, and highway speeds; and a Stated Preference Survey to determine user choices if transit options were available. All data was used to calibrate the models and analyze performance measures.

The relationship of land use to transportation was a key concern to Wood River Valley Stakeholders. To ensure that this relationship was reflected in the development and evaluation of alternatives, assistance was gathered from Blaine County planners, local developers, real estate agents, and policy makers.

Working with these groups and others was fundamental to obtaining acceptance of and support for the proposed SH-75 improvements.

Contributing Agency

Key Personnel

  • ITD-District 4
  • Brent Inghram (FHWA)

  • Chuck Carnohan (ITD-D4)

  • Chuck Green (Parsons Brinckerhoff)

  • John Thomas (Parsons Brinckerhoff)

  • Jan Striefel (Landmark Design)

  • Mark Vlasic (Landmark Design)

  • Maintenance and Operations

    Project: Road Weather Information Stations (RWIS) Build Out
    Submitting Agency: ITD, Office of Highway Operations and Safety

    Project Description:
    In 2006, ITD awarded a contract to Vaisala Inc. to deploy 49 new Road Weather Information Station (RWIS) and renovate 27 existing sites. RWIS sites collect atmospheric data including temperature, humidity, dew point, wind velocity and direction, atmospheric pressure, precipitation type and amount, and visibility distance. Most RWIS sites have at least one closed circuit television camera for generating snapshot images of the roadway and many sites also have pavement sensors that measure the temperature of the pavement, the thickness of any ice buildup, and the friction coefficient of the surface.

    The contractor polls the sites on a 15-minute interval and updates the RWIS website (called IceNet) with the data and camera images.

    With the deployment of the RWIS network and IceNet website, ITD's Maintenance staff has a reliable tool they can use to streamline their daily activities and make the most efficient use of resources (personnel, vehicles, materials, fuel).

    ITD's 511 website is linked to the Vaisala-supported FTP site to provide customers access to over 110 camera images to facilitate informed travel decisions and avoid hazardous driving conditions.

    Contributing Firm

    Key Personnel

  • Vaisala
  • Bob Angle (Robert Angle & Assoc.)
  • Brooke Pearson (Vaisala)

  • Paul Bridge (Vaisala)

  • Kent Wetzstein (ITD - OHOS)

  • Environmental Stewardship

    Project: City of Rocks Backcountry Byway
    Submitting Agency: Idaho Transportation Department - District 4

    Project Description:
    The City of Rocks Backcountry Byway is a 16.7-mile off-system project owned by Cassia County that begins at the entrance to the City of Rocks National Reserve and winds north.

    The project's environmental document identified 0.5 acres of wetland impacts. After much discussion and creative thinking, the agencies of ITD, IDPR, USACE, FHWA, IDWR, and Cassia County agreed to develop a plan that would enhance nearby Castle Rocks State Park and meet the mitigation requirements for the project's wetland impacts.

    In 2008, approximately 10 acres of existing pristine wetland area in Castle Rocks State Park was surrounded with a wooden pole fence to reflect the ranch setting for the park. The area is restricted to pedestrian traffic, protected from cattle grazing, and is allowed to grow in its natural state. A Natural Resources Technician was also hired to monitor the area for the next five years.

    Since the release of cattle onto the park property in spring of 2009, the difference in foliage inside and outside of the fenced area is quite considerable.

    Tremendous Cost Savings captured:
    Original estimate for creating new wetlands: > $100,000
    Preserving Castle Rocks State Park wetlands: $51,560

    Contributing Agencies Key Personnel
  • Idaho Dept. of Parks & Recreation
  • Devin Rigby (ITD-D4)
  • Cassia County Commissioners
  • Connie Jones (ITD-D4)

  • Brent Inghram (FHWA)

  • Wallace Keck (IDPR)

  • Dennis Crane (Cassia Co.)

  • Nicholle Braspennickx (USACE)

  • Public Participation

    Project: I-84, Garrity Interchange to Meridian Interchange
    Submitting Agency: Connecting Idaho Partners

    Project Description:
    This $113 million, high-profile project involves constructing two new lanes in both directions on I-84 between Nampa and Meridian. The project had the potential for tremendous traffic impacts, but successful proactive public outreach contributed to strong support from the community.

    CIP and RBCI's public participation efforts have kept the traveling public well informed through actions such as: distributing newsletters, developing relationships with local business and community leaders, maintaining a stakeholder database for material distribution and coordinating with the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

     The public participation team introduced a new technology called Constant Contact to provide immediate updates via email about construction. The technology tracks every time an email is opened or forwarded to another user. Recipients can also reply with questions and receive a personal response from the project team.

    Due to the high profile nature of this project, media involvement was essential to reinforce the project's key messages. The team provides regular news releases with traffic information, created media packets with project facts sheets, and hosted a bus tour of the entire I-84 West corridor for media representatives, local jurisdictions, and legislators.

    Contributing Agencies

    Key Personnel

  • ITD-Office of Communications
  • Reed Hollinshead (ITD-D3)
  • RBCI
  • June Sparks (ITD-D3)

  • Rosemary Curtin (RBCI)

  • Kate Nice (RBCI)

  • Lance Giles (CIP)

  • Pat Trueba (CIP)

  • Construction

    Project: U.S. 95, MP 536 to Idaho/Canada Border & Upper Moyie River Bridge
    Submitting Agency: URS—Washington Division

    Project Description:
    The most northerly 2.5 miles of U.S. 95 ending at the tie-in to the U.S. Customs Station (Port) in Eastport, Idaho was reconstructed to include the replacement of two very old steel arch truss bridges and the elimination of a dangerous at-grade railroad crossing. The challenge was to design and construct a new roadway and bridge without adversely impacting the daily operations at the northerly Port, the Moyie River, the UPRR crossing, and the local residents. 

    Staged bridge construction caused minimal traffic impacts. The new railroad grade separation structure required straightening the U.S. 95 alignment, raising the highway grade over the tracks, raising the grade of the southern bridge crossing over Moyie River, and revising intersection and access locations.

    Partnerships between ITD, the design team, contractor, UPRR, COE, Port Authorities, Fish & Wildlife, USFS, Boundary County, the Idaho State Historical Society, and local residents were essential for minimizing impacts to the project which finished within the two-year construction schedule and under budget.

    Contributing Agency

    Key Personnel

  • ITD-District 1
  • Jim Baker (URS-Washington Div.)

  • Rob Gronowski (URS-Washington Div.)

  • Ken Sorensen (ITD-D1)

  • Dave Suhr (former ITD-D1)

  • Phil Davis (ITD-D1)

  • Jeff Spohn (ITD-D1)

  • Engineer of the Year

    Monica Crider, P.E.
    ITD Assistant Roadway Design Engineer

    Monica manages the Consultant Administration Unit, PS&E areas, and coordinates projects within several Districts at ITD. She also co-leads for ITD/FHWA Teams including Value Engineering and is the chair for the working group on Alternative Project Delivery as a potential future contracting method for ITD.

    Monica is involved in a variety of activities that help advance engineering within and outside the department including:

    Professional of the Year

    Monte C. McClure
    Former Idaho Transportation Board Member (retired)

    Monte retired from the Idaho Transportation Board after 13.5 years of service to the department, its employees, and the State of Idaho. His vision to replace our aging bridges, rebuild and expand our highways, improve safety, and expand Idaho’s economic opportunity was simple, yet profound – unity. His legacy is an improved and safer transportation system for Idaho’s people and its products.

    ITD Career Achievement

    Steve Hutchinson, P.E.
    Former ITD Chief Engineer (retired)

    Steve began his career with ITD nearly 37 years ago, working in the Rupert Residency of District 2 (now District 4) as an engineer-in-training. His long and distinguished career moved him around all six districts and headquarters in different capacities before he became ITD’s Chief Engineer in 2005.

    As Chief Engineer, Steve faced the distinct challenges of needing ITD to reassess its business practices to operate within budget authorization and determining how to manage GARVEE funds to achieve the goals of the GARVEE program. Steve also believed that training was critical to equip and retain staff and maintained a longstanding commitment to the growth of ITD’s professional workforce.

    A special thank you to all parties that submitted applications for the Idaho Transportation Department’s 2009 Excellence in Transportation Awards.


    CH2M HILL ~ Rainbow Bridge Restoration Project
    COMPASS ~ Communities in Motion Implementation Guidebook
    Connecting Idaho Partners ~ I-84, Garrity Interchange to Meridian Interchange
    ITD, District 4 ~ City of Rocks Backcountry Byway
    ITD, Office of Highway Operations and Safety ~ Road Weather Information Stations (RWIS) Build Out
    Lynda Friesz Public Relations, Inc. ~ I-84, Karcher Interchange to Five Mile Environmental Study
    Lynda Friesz Public Relations, Inc. ~ I-84, Orchard to Gowen
    Parsons Brinckerhoff ~ SH-75 Timmerman to Ketchum EIS
    RBCI ~ Ten Mile Interchange Project
    URS - Washington Division ~ U.S. 95, MP 536 to Idaho/Canada Border & Upper Moyie River Bridge


    Monica Crider, P.E. ~ Assistant Roadway Design Engineer
    Steve Hutchinson, P.E. ~ Former ITD Chief Engineer (retired)
    Robert Linkhart ~ Utility Agreement Coordinator
    Monte McClure ~ Former Idaho Transportation Board Member (retired)
    Patricia B. Raino ~ Intermodal Planning Manager
    Kathleen Slinger, P.E. ~ Bridge Inspection Engineer
    Erika Stoddard, P.E. ~ Bridge Staff Engineer
    Garry Young ~ Scenic Byways Program Manager

    Your efforts to go the extra mile to ensure that your transportation plans, processes, and products demonstrate excellence and reflect the needs of the communities that we serve are much appreciated. Thanks to you, we now have even more examples of exemplary transportation projects across the state of Idaho.