Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson announced today that he has secured funding for five Idaho projects in H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act. H.R. 3684 will reauthorize surface transportation, transit, rail and safety programs for the next five years. Projects secured by Congressman Simpson are located in McCammon, Fort Hall, Ammon, Boise, and Pocatello.
“These projects will improve connectivity, transit, and road safety in Idaho, and being able to submit them means that I can better represent the people of Idaho’s Second District,” said Simpson. “It is important to note that eliminating any one of those projects would not have reduced federal spending by one penny – the money would have instead gone to another project in a different state or to a federal bureaucracy to be spent at its discretion. In the end, I can either seek these projects for Idaho or allow the funding to go to another state. I would rather see that funding end up in Idaho to improve our communities.”
The projects, totaling nearly $17 million, will be awarded to Idaho in addition to the portion of federal highway dollars that the state will receive in highway formula grants, meaning these projects may not have otherwise been addressed in the absence of Congressman Simpson’s requests. Member designated projects undergo strict vetting by member offices, committee staff and state transportation agencies. All project sponsors must submit proof of community support, ability to supply matching funds, and ability to complete the project in a timely manner.
The projects in Idaho that Simpson specifically secured are:
McCammon: The funding is designated to extend the life cycle of this highway segment. This is part of a major trucking corridor in Southeast Idaho and has a history of deep ruts and cracking.
Fort Hall: The funding is designated to upgrade Ross Fork Road just off Interstate 15 on Exit 80, which is going to be reconstructed and expanded starting in FY 2024. To coincide with the reconstruction of the Exit 80 bridge and interstate exit, Ross Fork Road will be reconstructed to keep up with the traffic flow and safety and to upgrade the ability to enter and exit tribal enterprises and developments. Currently sections of the road are failing and would not be able to maintain with the added traffic of the upgraded exit. The project will reconstruct, widen and landscape Ross Fork Road into one multi-modal complete street boulevard.
Boise: The funding is designated to continue construction of premium transit corridor improvements that will enhance passenger facilities and amenities, including:
Real-time bus information, which will let passengers know when the next bus is coming.
Off-board fare payment so passengers do not slow operations by paying the fare onboard.
More visible shelters, benches, bus stop signs and improved lighting so the public will know transit is available, safe and comfortable.
Improved pedestrian and bicycle connections to bus stops so more people, including those with disabilities can access the bus.
Near-level boarding so it is faster to get on and off the bus and traffic keeps moving.
Bus pull-outs, where necessary, to improve the traveling public’s safety.
Ammon: The funding is designated to reconstruct First Street from Hitt Road (25th) to Ammon (35th). The street will be widened to five lanes, with two lanes in each direction and a center two-way turn lane. The project will add a curb, gutter, and sidewalk along the entire section. It will also widen the current Sand Creek bridge to five lanes and include sidewalks and add a traffic signal at the Curlew intersection.
Pocatello: The funding is designated to repair the abutments, replace the fascia and portals to the sidewalks, and replacing the retaining walls and sidewalks leading to the pedestrian tunnels. The existing roadway and pedestrian lighting will be upgraded. The existing stormwater system will be modified or replaced to more adequately handle storm events and a pedestrian bridge across Center Street will be constructed.
“I’m grateful that Chairman DeFazio and Ranking Member Graves included these projects in this legislation,” said Simpson. “Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation, and our infrastructure is in dire need of repair and modernization. Many of these projects are long overdue and have been on city and statewide plans for decades, and their completion will have a huge economic impact in their respective communities.”
H.R. 3684 will be marked up in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, June 9th, and is expected to be considered on the House floor shortly thereafter. For a list and descriptions of Congressman Simpson’s requested projects, click here.