Idaho Transportation Board Addresses Status of Roads and Bridges
BOISE – The Idaho Transportation Board outlined the current status and future of Idaho’s roads and bridges. The board met in joint session with the House and Senate Transportation committees.
Addressing these concerns, Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead said that the department’s work on behalf of transportation users is largely dependent on funding levels. He also cited a study showing that every $1 spent on funding today to keep highways in good condition saves up to $14 if the repairs are postponed until the road is in bad condition.
“The state’s transportation system is vital to Idaho’s economy, and it’s crucial we address the issue before the transportation infrastructure deteriorates to the point it becomes a liability rather than an asset,” said Whitehead. “Without investment, it will be very difficult to meet our goals in regard to pavement and bridge condition.”
The board also expressed concern over the future of funding revenues, as detailed in the 2006 Forum on Transportation Investment, the 2010 Idaho Governor’s Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding in Idaho, and recent independent studies such as the American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2012 Report Card for Idaho’s Infrastructure/roads/bridges.
The Governor’s Task Force on Modernizing Transportation Funding found that Idaho has a $543 million annual shortfall in transportation funding. Of that, $262 million is needed annually just to preserve the system in the condition it is in today.
Click here for the link to the PowerPoint presentation and a memo from the Idaho Transportation Board to the Idaho Legislature. The presentation includes detailed information developed by department staff at the Board’s direction.
“Idaho is growing more reliant on federal money for roads and bridges,” Whitehead added. According to a 2014 Pew report, Idaho is one of the states most heavily dependent on federal transportation revenue.
“ITD’s pursuit of safety, mobility and economic opportunity benefits all Idaho road users and taxpayers,” said Whitehead. “We are committed to continuing on that path.”
Questions? Visit us online at itd.idaho.gov, follow ITD on Twitter (@IdahoITD) or Facebook and check travel conditions at 511.idaho.gov or dial 5-1-1. Please slow down in highway construction zones and pay attention. Safety for drivers and workers is our highest priority.