July 31, 2009

Panel Approves Idaho Transportation Projects

Funding Requests by Crapo, Risch Advanced to Full Senate

Washington, DC - Transportation funding sponsored by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch for road infrastructure and public transportation projects was approved this week by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Idaho initiatives are included in the annual funding measure for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development for Fiscal Year 2010, which begins in October. It supports federal programs and grants to states and communities for transportation infrastructure, public housing and economic development initiatives. Final approval for the projects is still needed from the full Senate and a conference committee with the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Supporting road and transit improvement projects is vital to ensuring our infrastructure meets the growing needs of Idaho communities," said Crapo, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Senate Banking Committee, which have jurisdiction over transportation issues. "These funds will assist our state in easing congestion and addressing safety issues. I look forward to continuing to champion these projects as Congress proceeds through the appropriations process."

"A growing population and aging infrastructure has once again made transportation a top priority for federal dollars. Funding these projects improves access and safety on some of Idaho's most-travelled stretches of road while providing much-needed jobs for our workforce," added Risch.

Crapo and Risch received approval for federal funding for five transportation projects:

•$400,000 for the widening of I-84 between Broadway Avenue and Gowen Road in Boise;
•$1 million for improvements to I-84 between Caldwell and Nampa;
•$2 million for construction and safety improvement work between Banks and Lowman;
•$400,000 for the widening of US-95 from Thorncreek Road to Moscow; and
•$1 million to support Treasure and Canyon Counties public transportation service needs, replace outdated equipment and facilities, and provide additional opportunities for customers with disabilities to use public transportation.

In separate action, the Senate passed legislation to provide a short-term funding fix for the federal highway program through September. It is expected that Congress will consider a new five-year reauthorization measure in the coming months.