A diverse group of transportation stakeholders have enlisted IPI to conduct an independent analysis of Idaho’s infrastructure needs and identify funding and financing alternatives to improve the state and local transportation system. Initial findings of the report, titled Idaho’s Transportation Infrastructure: Moving Idaho Forward, were published in an infographic and presented at the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry’s July 24 meeting in Post Falls.
The report estimates an additional $236.5 million per year in revenue is needed to meet preservation and restoration goals across the state, as well as $5.3 million per year to maintain existing transit equipment and infrastructure. IPI’s researchers note that unmet needs and deferred maintenance create a compounding effect, making the funding requirement significantly larger in the future. Moving Idaho Forward offers decision makers a range of alternatives to reduce the funding gap, including modifying current user fees, establishing new user fees, adjusting statewide and local funding, exploring financing opportunities, and expanding transportation modes.
Overall, the report concludes that Idaho’s transportation system (not only roads and bridges, but also transit and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure) is essential to a vibrant economy, but that revenue instability hinders the ability to keep the state and local system in a state of good repair and prevents any expansion efforts or significant operational changes. Beyond the written report, IPI is creating a dynamic financial model and a map of policy alternatives used in all 50 states. The full study will be released in the next few weeks.