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Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Victory For US 95

The Idaho Transportatin Board today decided to give $15.8 million in federal stimulus savings to fund a project to widen US 95 north of Hayden to avoid a bottleneck situation.

The project will widen the two-lane section of U.S. 95 between Wyoming Avenue and the Idaho 53 junction to connect with four-lane segments on both sides. Widening the small segment of highway will create four continuous lanes from Coeur d'Alene to north of Garwood when construction is completed.

Funneling traffic from four lanes to two lanes in such a short section creates a safety risk.

The state anticipates saving $33 million on the eight major federal transportation stimulus projects bid by contractors. Transportation department officials credit an increase in the number of contractors bidding projects for the savings. The transportation board decided to wait until bids on the U.S. 93 Twin Falls Alternate Route project is open this month to decide which projects to fund with remaining stimulus savings.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.