ITD supports research, development, and technology transfer activities addressing the Department's strategic goals and initiatives. It is ITD's mission to develop and maintain effective partnerships, deliver efficient and effective transportation services, offer practical solutions for immediate and long-term problems, develop new tools/technologies and facilitate their implementation, and coordinate projects performed by universities and agencies.
Roadside research focuses on balancing concerns for natural habitats and environments while enhancing roadside vegetation communities. It is a comprehensive program that focuses on improving the quality of natural environment by reducing noxious and invasive species establishment and spread, reducing wind and soil erosion, improving slope stability, establishing sustainable native vegetation, restoring natural habitats, and protecting and enhancing ecosystems. Research initiatives support statewide planning and involvement with the environmental process, construction activities, and maintenance operations.
Partnerships are essential to an efficient and effective integrated roadside vegetation program. Partnership projects help reduce soil erosion, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by invasive species, wildland fires and other natural disasters. Public benefits include enhanced natural resources that help sustain environmental quality while supporting continued economic development, recreation, and natural beauty.
The I-84 Hazardous Fuels project was initiated between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) in 2005 to implement fire management approaches to reduce the impact of devastating wildfires that have plagued the western U.S. for many years. The objective of the project is to increase public safety, improve the condition of natural resources on public lands by decreasing the number of fire starts originating from the I-84 transportation corridor, and decrease the spread and frequency of fires moving from the interstate onto adjacent public lands and into urban communities and sprawling home development.
The Tri-State project was initiated between WSDOT, MDOT, & ITD in 2006 to evaluate and implement noxious weed management strategies along the I-90 corridor stretching from Washington to Montana. The objective of the project is to implement a weed management plan and strategy for notifying agencies of new invaders, reduce economical impacts of new invaders, identify and stop the spread of new invaders across borders, educate the public and stakeholders on prevention and response measures, and increase awareness and communication.