Driggs and Victor both received good news on Friday when the Idaho Transportation Department approved funding for some big Teton Valley infrastructure: pathways on Highway 33 north of Driggs, on LeGrand Pierre to Driggs Elementary, and on Baseline to Victor Elementary.
On March 20, a committee in charge of choosing the projects recommended just over $10 million in federal Transportation Alternative Program grant funding, to be administered by ITD and the Local Highways Technical Assistance Committee. Both the Driggs and Victor projects fell under the category of Safe Routes to Schools. The recommendation committee scored projects based on safety, mobility, economic opportunity and project readiness.
The Driggs application to extend the Highway 33 path to the Silver Star facility and the LeGrand Pierre pathway from 5th Street to Booshway received the third highest ranking of the 95 applications submitted from around the state.
“Driggs has a strong planning foundation for our bike-ped facilities, wide support and a proven track record,” said community development director Doug Self, explaining the high score. “We also have 15 years of experience perfecting these types of grant applications and we only apply when we have highly competitive projects.”
Victor’s application was also in the top third in the state rankings. The Baseline pathway will span from Old Jackson Highway to Aspen Street with a Mountain Shadows neighborhood spur. Victor applied to the Transportation Alternatives Program to pave Baseline in the last grant cycle, but barely missed the cut. Despite that setback, the city has been busy improving and expanding its pathway network, mostly on the west side of town, and last fall finished improving several in-town Highway 31 intersections to make them safer for pedestrians. Because that grant-funded project came in under budget, the city added a pathway on Elm Street, which strengthened its Safe Routes to School grant application this cycle.
“The application practically wrote itself since the project will have such far reaching benefits for Victor,” said city administrator Olivia Goodale about the Baseline pathway.
Both projects will cost a little under $500,000 and each requires a local match of around $36,000.