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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

ITD on scenic values: ‘It’ll look the same once the load has gone by’

U.S. Highway 12 where it runs through the Lochsa and Clearwater river canyons is a designated scenic byway on which highway management is coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service, ITD district engineer James Carpenter acknowledged under questioning from attorney Natalie Havlina. "There are some changes in signing requirements and things like that ... but we already have agreements with the Forest Service," he said, on things like requiring brown or green signs. "Didn't the Forest Service object a few years ago when your staff put up metal as opposed to wooden guardrails on said highway?" Havlina asked Carpenter. "Yes, they did," he responded. Then, she asked how allowing an obstruction "the size of a building to be placed between the road and the river" - the megaloads when they're parked in turnouts for the day - could be consistent with scenic values. "I look at that as a temporary thing," Carpenter responded. "It'll look the same once the load has gone by."

Carpenter said the transportation department is required to comply with the corridor management plan. That plan includes such restrictions in the scenic byway as restrictions on billboards.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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