BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a transportation bill into law Thursday morning, allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade and repair the state's bridges and other infrastructure.
Senate Bill 1359 is the realization of a key part of the governor's "Leading Idaho" plan, unveiled during the 2022 State of the State. The measure will provide $200 million for local bridges - enough to clear out one-third of Idaho's bridge maintenance backlog - as well as $6 million for air, $8 million for rail, $18 million to pay off GARVEE project debt, $10 million for safe pedestrian crossings, and $10 million to build out a road at the Port of Lewiston.
Another transportation bill that provides an additional $200 million for road maintenance is expected to be signed into law by Little in the coming days.
"We are taking advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully fund known transportation needs – to maintain our roads and bridges permanently – with no new taxes. Last year, together we passed the largest transportation funding package in state history, and we did it without raising taxes," the governor said in a statement. "But we did not stop there. We cannot continue our record economic trajectory if our logging trucks can't get across old bridges or we can't get our farm products to market. This bill invests another $200 million in one-time funding to clear out one-third of the backlog of deficient bridges, and we are closing in on another $200 million in ongoing funding to fully address our known maintenance needs locally and statewide."
Little thanked lawmakers, the Idaho Transportation Department, and local cities, counties, and highway districts cities for supporting the bill.
"I am unwilling to put Idahoans' safety and the maintenance of our state's roads and bridges at the whims of the feds. We must not look to Washington, D.C., to solve our problems," he said. "Leading Idaho means addressing our own state's needs. Together, we'll show Washington, D.C., how to tackle transportation by fully funding known gaps with no new taxes and providing long-term funding for long-term needs."
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