You may have noticed higher registration fees when you’ve paid for new stickers for your car or truck. That’s part of a new law, and a new revenue stream for the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) backlog in road restoration and preservation. Now ITD says it is already wrapping up the first projects using the new influx of cash.
The ITD has said it needs $262 million more a year to keep up with road and bridge repair. This year, the Idaho Legislature authorized raising part of that amount, $95 million, using a 7-cent gas tax and a hike in registration fees.
As soon as lawmakers signed off on the money, ITD pushed 27 of the most needy projects to the front of the list. Two of those projects, one in north-central Idaho, and another in the south-central part of the state, were the first to be completed.
ITD Director Brian Ness says that’s due in part to good planning.
"ITD was ready to implement these new projects as soon as the money was available because our staff plans five years ahead,” Ness said in a press release.
More than six other projects will be completed this year. The Department plans to spend about half of its new cash flow, $46.8 million, on the first 27 projects. The biggest chunk, $21 million, goes to pavement restoration. More than $16 million will be spent on bridges.
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