Bypass picks up accolade - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Bypass picks up accolade

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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — The Sand Creek Byway has another accolade for its trophy case.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Idaho has picked the U.S. Highway 95 realignment project as the first-place winner for the 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards competition for transportation.

The $112 million bypass project, which was completed last July after decades of debate, was designed by URS Corporation. Parsons RCI served as the project’s general contractor.

Parsons built the 2.1-mile-long alignment around the city of Sandpoint. The project consists of four steel-girder bridges, two of which span navigable waterways, and extensive erosion-control measures and mitigation of stormwater runoff into waterways.

“We are proud that the ACEC Idaho has recognized the Sand Creek Byway as a top engineering project,” said Todd Wagner, Parsons Group president. “My congratulations to the Idaho Transportation Department and the entire project team on this well-deserved honor.”

Wagner added that the byway is an important part the Greater Sandpoint infrastructure and Parsons was honored to have contributed to its creation.

ACEC annual competition publicly recognizes engineering achievements that demonstrate a high degree of merit and ingenuity, and that contribute to economic and social advancement in a community.

Although the byway opened ahead of schedule and is expected to improve traffic safety and congestion.

The byway was recognized as Idaho top project in 2009 by the Idaho Business Review and has received numerous other awards including ITD’s Excellence in Transportation Award for public participation and an award from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

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  • Old Cop posted at 4:51 am on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    Old Cop Posts: 3257

    No Tort Reform as long as lawyers control the legislatures We wouldn't have any more John Edwards. Wouldn't that be a shame? The Dems would loose a lot of campaign contributions from the ambulance chasing trial lawyers. Wouldn't that be a shame? Conservatives should be pushing tort reform as hard as they possibly can.
    With union membership dropping substantially every year we can see the Dems campaign contributions taking a significant hit. Wouldn't that be a shame?

  • Here's What I Say posted at 10:21 am on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    Engineering award for the cloverleaf curve on 95 north bound too? Where traffic merges very quickly and the centrifugal force is quite powerful?

  • Luv83864 posted at 9:15 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    Thanks for the information. I will use it wisely.

  • bonnerben posted at 9:02 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    Amen Wilson! Tort reform, such as you mentioned here, would halt frivolous law suits, and save us taxpayers billions.

  • wilson posted at 5:01 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1055

    A bond needs to be required for these groups to file actions against public agencies. If they lose, they forfeit the bond - pretty simple. I think that would slow down these nut cases that have very little to do --

  • bonnerben posted at 9:48 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    Luv - While some studies, such as environmental impact reports, are required by law, many other studies are completed by the public agencies as an up front stop gap to the law suits they know will be filed. Also, environmentalists often file suits challenging the EIR, thus requiring the agency to defend the study. Again, at tax payer expense. Sometimes the court will order further, or another study. Again, at tax payer expense. In other cases, the court may order the public agency to pay all court costs and attorney fees if they lose. While I believe in respecting and protecting our environment, our current system is out of control in regards to small groups costing tax payers billions of dollars in attorney fees, court costs, studies, increased costs of labor and materials, and excessive delays of much needed public works projects.

  • Luv83864 posted at 10:42 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    Weevils ? Like the small tiny beetle bugs? What would be the benefit? Don't we already have enough bugs? These things (weevils) look familiar, do we have them? How many good reasons could there be to bring in more bugs except maybe bees.

  • Luv83864 posted at 10:38 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Luv83864 Posts: 702

    How does tax payers money end up paying for environmentalist and their so called "studies?" Don't get me wrong I have heard of environmentalist doing good things before but a lot of time and cost vs benefits and/or use of the studies is controversial to say the least. I personally had no idea the tax payers paid for this unless its through grants? Aren't grants agreed upon or voted in? Who decides who gets grants? and how are they allocated? I'm going to look into this and educate myself further but I think it's absolutely ridiculous to be paying these outrageous amounts for these studies. When I search grants there are so many by my dismay. They should have a budget to work with if the work is needed and valued by us the taxpayers. If there is no budget, more and more will be spent. That's evident in everyday life and how people use credit. If we give an inch, they will take a mile.

  • leechstomper posted at 1:45 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    leechstomper Posts: 1397

    This instance reminds me of the great Hagadone golf course debaucle. When he was originnaly planning to build his course on the old Potlatch mill sight in Cd'A, the environmentalists (ie: Atty. Scott Reed) used every avenue to harass and delay the project claiming impending dire environmental disaster. For God's sake, he was planning to cover a 100 year old mill sight with lawn and anchor a floating green barge over an old log pond and was being vilified. Only after Hagadone "bribed" the county by giving them a bazzilion dollars to construct a new boat launch facility somewhere on the north end of the lake, did the county issue all of the required permits.
    All would have been fine EXCEPT Scott Reed said "Hey, who's gonna pay all of the legal expenses that I've run up?" You guessed it, the county gave over half of the boat ramp fund to Reed and the ramp facility wasn't constructed.

    Kootenai county has been rife with these nuts for decades and Bonner county is festering a rampant infection. The Hippie leftover publisher of the Nickel's Worth waged a long campaign to keep the county from removing the ice from the 3rd St. boat ramp in the winter ( the only real year round ramp on the north end of Lake Cd'A). Reason? It was only a couple of blocks from her office and she wanted to ice skate there. Now THAT'S a reason to shut down winter access to the northern half of the lake.

  • bonnerben posted at 11:48 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    Thanks L Wallace. As local, tax paying residents we must remain continuously vigilant of outside, unelected agitators that use the legal system and intimidation to control local decisions. Waterkeepers seems to be the reincarnation of NICAN. They are currently suing the state to allow weevils into our Pend Oreille water system. No one seems to know who they are or where their funding comes from. They seem to have one or two local tokens up front, but the rest are unknown, out of state "men behind the curtain." I hope our Daily Bee editors and investigative reporters will monitor, and report, the activities of this organization.

  • L Wallace posted at 9:55 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1354

    Wow bonnerben, you nailed this one. I have watched the various groups put up road blocks against the bypass for at least 3 or more decades. All those vocal groups (business persons, realtors, enviros & etc.) kept the local residents from needed traffic facilities and at their expense!!

  • bonnerben posted at 9:36 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    bonnerben Posts: 291

    What should be pointed out about the environmental groups is how much they cost us taxpayers. NICAN held up the project for about ten years. The state of Idaho had to spend tens of thousands of our taxpayer dollars fighting lawsuits. When the project finally began in 2008, the cost of labor and materials had increased substantially since 1998. I wish our legal system had the ability to recoup these losses from groups such as NICAN, and repay us taxpayers for the millions they cost us.

  • wilson posted at 2:17 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    wilson Posts: 1055

    Good luck waiting for accolades from enviro groups - collectively there is not enough sensible grey matter to humble themselves to anything - They would prefer to have us living in caves -

  • L Wallace posted at 1:23 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    L Wallace Posts: 1354

    There is just one piece of these commendations missing, the acolades of the environemtal groups. They should be thankful such good planning and project implementation was done, plus they should acknowledge that this route was by far the best route to preserve the environment.