The Idaho Transportation Board recently approved $350 million for dozens of new road construction projects throughout the state that are expected to begin in 2022.
Projects approved include $170 million of Transportation Expansion and Congestion Mitigation (TECM) funds to expand Idaho State Highway 16 from its current location at U.S. 20/26 (Chinden Blvd.) to I-84. The board also dedicated $37 million of TECM funds to expand U.S. 20/26 to four lanes from Middleton Road to I-84. Both projects should be under construction next year and will likely be bonded.
In addition, the board approved about $140 million in projects with one-time funds from the Building Idaho’s Future program, along with federal and state COVID relief funds. According to the Idaho Transportation Department, this statewide group of projects is focused on critical maintenance and safety needs for highways and bridges from Ashton in eastern Idaho, to the Magic Valley and north to Wallace.
“We want to thank the Idaho Legislature and Governor for one of the most significant transportation investments in state history,” Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Bill Moad said in a statement. “Our goal as a board is to be great stewards of this funding. We will work with the department to pick the projects across Idaho that will have the greatest return on investment in improving safety, increasing mobility, and addressing Idaho’s rapid growth.”
In addition to $350 million in construction that will begin next year, the board also approved nearly $170 million for project development. This includes environmental planning, design, and right-of-way acquisition.
The TECM fund was increased to $80 million through House Bill 362 signed by Governor Little earlier this month. The Idaho Transportation Department will leverage those ongoing funds into a Building Idaho’s Future bonding program that could yield be as much as $1.6 billion. The goal is to have major safety and expansion corridors financed over the next six to eight years with the bond proceeds.
SOURCE: Idaho Transportation Department