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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 37-11
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces $7.1 Million in Grants for Idaho Highway Projects

Funds will help create jobs by replacing aging bridge, protecting roads from rockslides and improving pedestrian safety

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $7.1 million in grants to fund an array of highway-related efforts in Idaho, including protecting a 25-mile stretch of Forest Highway between Banks and Lowman from rockslides, replacing an outdated bridge using more durable pre-stressed concrete, and building a roundabout and making other safety improvements to help pedestrians in rural Lapwai.

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Idaho residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply in June for federal funding from 14 grant programs. Requests poured in from every state, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. - more than 1,800 applications, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting, and will help create jobs."

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the FY11 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.

Idaho received funding for the following projects:

Rockfall mitigation on 25 miles of Forest Highway 24 between Banks and Lowman $3,152,000
Replacement of SH 75 bridge over East Fork of Salmon River using innovative precast concrete elements $1,380,000
The PLHD Program funds will be used for the design and construction of roadway reconstruction on Lakeshore Drive in the city of Cascade $934,000
Safety improvements for pedestrians in Lapwai $717,420
Design and right-of-way acquisition for bridge replacement in Enaville $300,000
Construction of rest stop on International Selkirk Loop in Sandpoint $220,709
Specialized training to promote civil engineering careers to women and minority students $155,387
Specialized training to prepare Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms to compete for federal highway contracts $80,580
Installation of signs along the Sawtooth, Salmon River and Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byways $65,100
Development of a plan for multi-use paths connecting Cascade and Donnelly with 20 recreational sites near Cascade Lake $50,000
Installation of informational signs along the Thousand Springs Byway $28,623
Development of a Corridor Management Plan for the Payette River Scenic Byway $17,700
TOTAL $7,101,519

A complete state-by-state list of this year's grant recipients is available online at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pressroom/fhwa1137/.

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