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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Board Requests GARVEE Money For US 95 Project

A news release out of the Idaho Transportation Department says the Idaho Transportation Board yesterday requested $162 million in bonding authority for next year to complete construction of highway improvement projects, including on U.S. 95 in our area.

The bond request is part of the GARVEE Transportation Program approved by the Idaho Legislature. The recommendation still has to be forwarded to Governor Otter and approved by the Legislature. The program uses federal Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds to expedite highway improvements.

In our area, the $162 million would help finance the completion of the US 95, Garwood to Sagle project. The $79.4 million project is approximately 12 miles from Chilco to Granite. It will be widened and realigned to a four lane divided highway with new interchanges at Chilco, Bunco Road and at Idaho 54 in Athol.

It will improve safety and traffic flow by removing several intersections and rail crossings. Construction could begin in the summer of 2011.

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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.