The legislation to do the next round of GARVEE bonding for the “Connecting Idaho” highway construction program has passed the Senate, 29-6. The bill, HB 657, already had passed the House and now goes to Gov. Butch Otter, who made it a top priority as part of the transportation initiative he proposed to lawmakers at the start of the session. The majority of this $134 million round of bonding will benefit gridlocked Treasure Valley freeways. “We haven’t done any improvements on these interstates for 40 years,” Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, told the Senate. “We’re running now at least 75,000 cars a day on a road that was built in the 1960s, during the Eisenhower Administration.” The only dissenters in the bill’s final passage were Sens. Bair, Coiner, Hill, Pearce, Schroeder and Siddoway.
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