313The highway that will not die
- Apr 1, 2008The Indian Valley Highway is back in play.
Drop what you're doing and call Governor Otter's office right now at
208-334-2100 and ask him to use his line-item veto to remove the
South Emmett to Mesa Highway from House Bill 657. Do it right now;
as of Tuesday morning, the bill is on his desk awaiting his
The Idaho legislature last week passed House Bill 657, approving an
additional $134 million in GARVEE bonding and instructing ITD how to
spend it. You'll recall that GARVEE is a way of borrowing against
anticipated federal highway revenues to pay for highway construction
sooner rather than later. It was former Governor Kempthorne's
keystone to his Connecting Idaho proposal two years ago. He and the
Idaho Transportation Department had identified thirteen specific
highway projects around the state to complete with GARVEE funds.
However, the Legislature reduced the amount of GARVEE bonding that
it would approve, and restricted use of the funds to just a few of
the original projects, dropping the Indian Valley Highway and
HB657 puts all 13 original projects back in play, regardless of
merit. How can we still be talking about building a new four-lane
divided highway through critical big-game and sage-grouse habitat,
when ITD is roughly $250 million a year short of the money it needs
to keep up with necessary road maintenance and repairs? That's the
question to ask your legislators; although 23 members of the House
voted against this latest bill, only 6 Senators opposed it. You can
check the Idaho Legislature's website to find our how your elected
representatives voted and to read the text of the bill. But first,
make your call to the governor's office today and ask him to ax this
unneeded highway. Put our transportation dollars to work where
they're needed, not where they do more harm than good.
Check www.indianvalleyalliance.com for more information.
Indian Valley Alliance
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