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Board recommends U.S. 95 funds

| December 9, 2010 8:00 PM

BOISE - The Idaho Transportation Board on Wednesday requested $162 million in bonding authority for next year to complete construction of highway improvement projects on U.S. 95 and Idaho 16.

Of the total, $79.4 million would be for the Garwood-to-Sagle corridor on U.S. 95. Approximately 12 miles of U.S. 95 from Chilco to Granite will be widened and realigned to a four-lane divided highway with new interchanges at Chilco, Bunco Road and at Idaho 54 in Athol.

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

"It is important the U.S. 95 projects are completed to improve safety and avoid a traffic bottleneck," said Darrell Manning, chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board. "The people of northern Idaho have waited patiently while the U.S. 95 improvements were developed and other GARVEE projects on U.S. 30 and I-84 were completed."

The bond request is part of the GARVEE Transportation Program approved by the Idaho Legislature.

The recommendation will be forwarded to Gov. Butch Otter and would have to be approved by the Legislature. The program uses federal Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonds to expedite highway improvements.

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