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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Beck Road Interchange Gets Federal Approval

The Idaho Transportation Department has just sent out a news release saying the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the new interchange on Interstate 90 at Beck Road in Post Falls. Final approval of the Interchange Justification Report (IJR) hinges on completion of all environmental work for the project.

The IJR recommends a new standard diamond interchange that would accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists and improves traffic operations.

The project is the first in Idaho to use the State Tax Anticipation Revenue (STAR) program to finance a highway improvement project. The Idaho Legislature approved the STAR program in 2007. The program compensates developers who pay for interchanges or highway improvements that access new commercial/retail complexes.

The developer and its consulting engineering firm still must complete an Environmental Assessment and receive approval for a "Finding of No Significant Impacts." Once the environmental process is complete and approved, work will begin on design and construction of the interchange.

When completed, the state will assume control over maintenance and operation of the facility.

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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.