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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

ITD: Bridges aging, new management system in

Revenues from the state's Highway Account, which largely comes from gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, are running $1.8 million below forecast through January, ITD Director Brian Ness told JFAC. Of 1,777 bridges in the state system, 540, or 30 percent, are older than 50 years, which is their design life; half will be older than 50 years by 2016. Fatalities on the state's highways have been dropping each year since 2005. A contract for a new management system that a state management audit said was needed was awarded in December of 2009, and is now being configured.

ITD is requesting just $26 million for GARVEE bonding next year, for projects on State Highway 16 in the Treasure Valley and on U.S. Highway 95 in the Chilco area. Ness said those projects would be delayed if the bonds aren't issued. Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, asked why ITD isn't proposing more. "One of the things that was uncomfortable for me with past GARVEE bonding was that we actually locked in really high prices for paving and construction costs. ... Wouldn't it be wiser to increase the bonding funding and try to get more done while prices are cheaper?"

The answer, from ITD official Dave Tolman, was that the $26 million reflects the work ITD can get done next year, "what we think we can actually get accomplished."

Eye On Boise

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