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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

US 95 Project Gets Environmental Clearance

The Idaho Transportation Department has just announced that a project to realign and reconstruct 31 miles of U.S. 95 north of Coeur dAlene received environmental clearance last week, allowing the development of future construction projects in the corridor.

The Federal Highway Administration approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on July 2 for the U.S. 95, Garwood to Sagle corridor project. That approval clears the way for planned right of way purchases and the beginning of preliminary design.

The Garwood to Sagle corridor serves a rapidly growing population in northern Kootenai and southern Bonner counties and is an important part of Idaho's primary north-south highway.

That decision includes approval of an alignment for the future highway, which was identified as the Preferred Alternative in the FEIS. Right of way acquisition will focus on the southern end of the corridor, from Boekel Road to Granite Hill, in Kootenai and Bonner counties. Construction will begin when funding becomes available.

The U.S. 95, Garwood to Sagle corridor is one of six transportation corridors throughout the state funded through the GARVEE Transportation Program, which allows Idaho to plan, design and build more highway projects in less time than through traditional transportation funding methods. It uses Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds to fund critical improvements in the six transportation corridors.

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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.