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Eye On Boise Idaho Transportation Department archive

TUESDAY, NOV. 23, 2010

Road needs: $543 million

The total figures being tossed around by the governor's task force on transportation funding are big: $262 million to operate, preserve and restore the current road system, both at the state and local level; plus $281 million needed for "capacity and safety enhancement" at both...

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The Idaho governor's transportation funding task force begins debating how to increase road funding in the state. (Betsy Russell)

Road funding: How to fill in the blanks

The governor's transportation funding task force has begun working through a proposed resolution - which currently contains lots of blanks - on what it should recommend for future road funding in Idaho. Among its clauses: One saying that federal funding likely "will remain essentially flat...

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Road funding debate to start at 12:45 

The governor's transportation funding task force has been kicking around some questions about how it should fashion its recommendations, but hasn't yet begun debating the specifics - that'll happen this afternoon. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the task force chairman, is passing out a draft resolution...

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ITD Deputy Director Scott Stokes briefs the governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday (Betsy Russell)

New ITD management system set to go live

ITD Deputy Director Scott Stokes is briefing the governor's transportation task force on efficiency moves at ITD. The agency's goals are safety, mobility and economic vitality, Stokes said. Its new computerized management systems - a key recommendation from a legislative audit - "begin going live...

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FRIDAY, NOV. 5, 2010

ITD's 'major realignment' and its timing...

It was early in the morning the day after the election when the Idaho Transportation Department announced a "major realignment" of the agency, aimed at reducing management employees, saving money and focusing resources on on-the-ground work. So why that timing? Eye on Boise asked Gov....

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TUESDAY, AUG. 31, 2010

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force meets Tuesday in a "garden level" (basement) hearing room at the state Capitol. (Betsy Russell)

Otter, Allred on car-truck fee study 

Here's a link to my full story at spokesman.com on today's meeting of Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force, which voted unanimously to accept a new state-commissioned cost-allocation study showing car owners are overpaying for Idaho roads while heavy trucks underpay, but expressed strong...

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TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010


Consultants Patrick Balducci, standing, and Joseph Stowers tell the Idaho governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday how much more damage heavy trucks do to pavement than cars. (Betsy Russell)

Trucks vs. cars on pavement damage 

Consultant Patrick Balducci of Battelle Group told the governor's transportation funding task force just now that axle weights matter, not just total weight of a truck compared to total weight of a car, when calculating impact on pavement damage. But, under questioning from committee members,...

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Reasons for the car-truck fee disparity... 

Part of the reason for the big disparity between heavy trucks and cars in Idaho on paying their fair share for roads: The repeal of the weight-distance tax in 2001, as a result of a lawsuit. Since then, heavy trucks have paid only registration fees....

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New study: Idaho cars overpaying, trucks underpaying 

The trend in Idaho is clear, according to a new highway cost-allocation study presented to the governor's transportation funding task force today: "More and more overpayment on the part of automobiles and pickup trucks, and more underpayment on the part of combination trucks." That's what...

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Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, right, presides over the governor's transportation funding task force on Tuesday. At left is House Transportation Chairwoman JoAn Wood, R-Rigby; at center is Senate Transportation Chairman John McGee, R-Caldwell. (Betsy Russell)

Little: 'We really do need this' 

Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who is chairing the governor's transportation funding task force, says it could well be that a gas tax hike - which Gov. Butch Otter failed to convince state lawmakers to impose despite two years of pleas - could end up being...

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Task force member: 'We're way behind'

Rep. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, who serves on Gov. Butch Otter's transportation funding task force, had this thought on the task force members' overwhelmingly ranking a gas tax increase as the top potential funding source for road fixes in Idaho: "This was the first cut of...

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Gas tax hike top choice of task force members 

The governor's transportation task force, after its last meeting, asked all 14 of its members to rank the various potential funding sources for transportation in Idaho on everything from fairness to public acceptance, and the results show a fuel tax increase came out on top....

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Toll roads for Idaho?

The hottest topic among states seeking transportation funding is imposing tolls on interstate freeways, consultant David Hartgen told the governor's transportation task force this morning. It's currently not allowed outside of demonstration projects, but he said he wouldn't be surprised to see it permitted to...

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Road funding: 'A widening gap'

Transportation consultant David Hartgen said he doesn't think Idaho's revenues for transportation will get much higher than 3 percent annual growth, given current funding sources, and they could drop well below that "if economic circumstances don't turn around." The result: A "widening gap" by the...

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David Hartgen, a transportation consultant and twin brother of Idaho Rep. Stephen Hartgen, addresses the governor's transportation task force on Tuesday. (Betsy Russell)

'Guess we do sort of look alike'

As the governor's transportation task force opened its all-day meeting this morning, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the panel's chairman, warned members that they were about to have "an out of body experience" with the first speaker, David Hartgen. The reason: He's the twin brother of...

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THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2010

ITD: Remove studded tires by Saturday 

Studded snow tires must be off vehicles in Idaho by Saturday, the Idaho Transportation Department warned today. They've already been illegal for a month in Utah, Oregon and Washington, while Montana lets studded tires be run through May 31 and in Wyoming they're legal all...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9, 2009

FRIDAY, NOV. 20, 2009

Whoops - actually it's $22K more  

ITD has corrected the salary figure it supplied to Eye on Boise late yesterday for new Idaho Transportation Director Brian Ness - it's not $160,000 a year, it's $165,000. That makes it $22,000 more than the salary paid to the previous director, Pam Lowe.

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Eye On Boise

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