Friday, January 30, 2009

Highway 75 doesn’t make the cut for federal stimulus


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

The Idaho Transportation Department reported Thursday that a state Highway 75 expansion project for the Wood River Valley will not qualify for funding under an $819 billion economic stimulus package that's being developed by the U.S. Congress.

"They have to be shovel-ready," ITD District Engineer Devin Rigby said at a meeting of the Wood River Regional Transportation Committee.

Rigby said it's uncertain how much money ITD might receive under the plan, but that the department's highest priority is some $50 million for completion of the U.S. Highway 93 alternate route in Twin Falls. The second highest priority is interstate roadway repairs.

The Highway 75 expansion project is now underway but is still in the design and right-of-way acquisition phases. The project involves expansion of the 27 miles of highway between Timmerman Junction and north Ketchum.

ITD has about $22 million in hand for the project, which is estimated to cost about $200 million.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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