Eye On Boise

Projects are 'ready to go'

Pam Lowe, ITD director, briefs the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Wednesday morning about the plan for spending transportation stimulus funds that the ITD board adopted in a special meeting on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)
Pam Lowe, ITD director, briefs the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Wednesday morning about the plan for spending transportation stimulus funds that the ITD board adopted in a special meeting on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell / The Spokesman-Review)

Idaho Transportation Director Pam Lowe is briefing JFAC this morning on the ITD board's stimulus recommendations, adopted in a special meeting yesterday. "The board directed staff in January to get eight projects ready to go, and we've been doing that," she said. With Idaho's focus on "shovel-ready" projects as targets for the stimulus money, she said, the state will be "in outstanding position" to obligate all its stimulus funds right away - making it eligible to pick up additional money when other states don't act quickly enough to qualify. "We're going to be in good position to get some more money, potentially," Lowe told lawmakers. She said, "The projects are in every district, so you'll be stimulating all of Idaho's economy. ... If it weren't for the stimulus money, we would have no other way to build some of these large, desperately needed projects."

Here's a link to my full story in today's Spokesman-Review on the board's plan for the money. The list is topped by replacement of the notoriously deteriorating Dover Bridge in North Idaho. This morning, Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, asked Lowe about rumors the bid advertisement for that project might get moved up to April. Lowe, whose estimate is early May, said, "We are pushing - the moment we're ready." Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, who's heard complaints in the budget committee for years about the bridge, said, "I for one will be so happy when the Dover Bridge is finally taken care of."




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