Jim Coleman, the Idaho Transportation Board member from North Idaho, said one big uncertainty is that Idaho still doesn’t know what the rules will be for spending federal economic stimulus funds on highway projects. “They may say that if you’ve got X dollars going on in some area, you can’t do it,” he said. “There’s a lot of discussion in Congress that it’s imperative that it reaches those areas that are financially strapped - they may tie it to the employment rate or the construction employment rate.” Once Idaho gets the final word, he said, “If that’s the case, then we’ll put it wherever we’re directed to put it.” But for now, there’s a list of eight shovel-ready priority projects. “I’m looking forward to getting the Dover Bridge started - it’s been a project like the Sandpoint Bypass that’s been hanging around way too long,” Coleman said.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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