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Eye On Boise

McGee: Transportation is ‘grossly underfunded’

Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell, said the new transportation audit confirms just what Gov. Butch Otter has been saying, that Idaho's transportation system is "grossly underfunded." Auditor Bob Thomas summed up the overall findings of the audit like this: "The current situation facing Idaho's highway system is untenable. ... The state is falling further and further behind in its ability to maintain and preserve its highway and bridge infrastructure. ... Idaho is getting further and further into a hole on this." The audit, he said, recommends first to stabilize and then reverse the current trends, with a "preservation-first" approach to maintenance and with new "tools for the department to transform itself," including a new $6 million maintenance management system. Idaho can find some short-term savings, but most important, he said, is the "hundreds of millions" in costs that could be avoided if Idaho's system for maintaining its roads and bridges is improved.

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.