ACHD Spending Shifts Back To Boise

After years of spending in newly developed areas in the western part of the county, Ada County Highway District officials released data Friday showing Boise will get more dollars.
Road closed for construction in Boise, Idaho.
Fast-growing cities in western Ada County continue to get a larger share of roadway spending, according to the Ada County Highway District’s latest spending-and-revenue report released Friday.

But the trend is about to turn: Boise, which has slightly more than half of the county’s population, stands to get $6 of every $10 ACHD expects to spend on construction through 2020, the study shows.

The third edition of the analysis tracks the revenue collections and spending within local government boundaries from 2001 through 2012 and is based on ACHD’s annual – and audited – spending reports filed with the State of Idaho. The study encompasses $814 million in spending, and follows up on the first report issued in early 2011.

“During the recession, most of the growth we’ve had has been on the west side,” said Sara Baker, president of the ACHD Commission. “But things are now turning around. Starting this year, Boise City will receive the lion’s share of the spending as we address some long-standing needs.”

One of those is the 30th Street Extension, a project that broke ground on Wednesday and will be completed in October. The new road will connect State Street to Fairview Avenue, offering a quicker option for getting to downtown Boise and completing a vision for the area dating back to the 1960s. The road, which will cost an estimated $4.5 million to construct and $9.1 million in total, helps fulfill a Boise City aim to revitalize the western edge of the city center.

Since ACHD responds to actual and projected growth, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star and Garden City have often received more in total projects and services than the citizens of those municipalities have contributed to the countywide highway system in recent years, according to the spending report.

The amount of impact fees generated by each jurisdiction demonstrates the trend. Over the 12-year-span, Meridian consistently brought in the most fee revenue in the county, as shown by the 2013 analysis. While the city has 20 percent of the county’s total population, it generated 41 percent of the fee revenue in 2012 and has produced the most of any jurisdiction since 2001.

Because impact fees are tied to building permits, they point directly to where the growth is greatest, said Bruce Wong, ACHD’s director.

“The numbers speak for themselves – over the past decade the growth hot spots have been on the west side,” Wong said. “But going forward, we see more of the development activity, and projects, flowing back to Boise and the east side of the county.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. ACHD can start on Boise Avenue. There are so many pot holes that have shown up in the past week, it’s like a maze trying to dodge them.

  2. Why on earth is the 36th street connection from state to Fairview not good enough? That is only 6 blocks away?

  3. Let me get this straight. Wong says his crystal ball says “But going forward, we see more of the development activity, and projects, flowing back to Boise and the east side of the county.”
    What a crock. Wong has no clue. He is a central planner that has about as much chance of knowing the future as Miss Cleo. Remember her, Dave?

    As far as “Since ACHD responds to actual and projected growth, Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star and Garden City have often received more in total projects and services than the citizens of those municipalities have contributed to the countywide highway system in recent years, according to the spending report.
    To me that is another example of the central planners not assessing the correct amount for the impact fees. It’s not that those communities are not paying their fair share, they are paying what the central knobs, I mean central planners, determined the impact fees to be. Once more for everyone. Wong will get it Wrong. Again.

  4. Grumpy ole guy
    Feb 1, 2013, 8:53 pm

    I have never really understood from where dollars for roads comes, here in Ada County. Does ANY of the I 84 re-construction money come from ACHD?, or is it all part of the Federal monies from the stimulus and other funds? Is there any co-ordination between projects like this? For example if with re-do one of the interchanges, as I understand is to happen with the Meridian, will those costs be shared between Feds, State and ACHD? And, if so, does ACHD co-ordinate any side road improvements, traffic signalization, new signs, etc. Is anyone in charge of coordinated planning?
    Sad to say I am so ignorant on this (and so many) topics.

    EDITOR NOTE–We can tell you none of the I-84 work comes from ACHD funds. As to the ramps and signals, the majority would come from the state/feds. After that, we need a response from ACHD to get it right. We pay for ACHD with property taxes and license plate vehicle fees.

  5. I would have guessed an even higher discrepancy between funds spent in the western and eastern parts of the county. Driving around in Boise is like being in a small town compared to the cluster of jams out west. Wow I would hate to live out there! My pet peeve road in Boise is State Street. There’s not a single gas station from downtown to the Maverick west of Glenwood on the south side, and there are virtually no fast food places. Jaywalking is common at numerous locations. The right of way is a patchwork, with some businesses apparently required to have enormous setbacks, others right up against the road, frontage roads right next to the main road, and just a generally ugly appearance. Utility poles are even strategically places right next to the road! Boise needs to have some sort of a plan for this road. It is a major road, and it is also a major entry into the city.

  6. Dave, ACHD also gets funding from state sales tax, the Highway user’s fund (fuels tax), federal cost sharing money,impact fees and others.

    James, State St.- 15th has a Chevron, 16th has a Tosoro, Pierce Park has a Jacksons, Collister has On the Fly, Stinker at 53th (sinclair I think). Sorry there’s too many fast food joint for me to list here.
    But you are right, State State wins the award. Particularly around 10th to 14th, and around the Capitol.

    30th St extension and the future 36th St extension are two examples were the county pays money to benefit a developer. That’s no wonder with the number of realtors sitting on the commission. ParkCenter East is another classic. Pretty good deal if you owned Harris Ranch though. Too bad for other already built areas like Boise Ave, State St, and Cloverdale. Meanwhile, Chinden past Eagle has not changed for 40 years depite all the growth out there.

  7. Rod in SE Boise
    Feb 4, 2013, 5:32 pm

    Kathy is right about Boise Avenue.

    Nationwide, our infrastructure is crumbling. It is long past time to fix our roads and bridges.

  8. As usual I didn’t check in for a couple of weeks and missed some good stories.


    How can you say the 30th Extension benefits a developer? What developer? There are very few lots larger than single family size on its whole route.


    Are you kidding? You can’t see the difference? From State St. driving south, 36th/Veterans/Curtis comes out on Fairview on the bench well to the west of downtown. 30th driving south from State comes out, um, downtown.

    The road is necessary to alleviate traffic on 27th much as the Parkcenter bridges were to alleviate Warm Springs Ave. 27th has about 14 to 16,000 daily traffic count. This makes it THE busiest residential street in all of Ada County, more than Warm Springs and more than Harrison. 30th Extension is also needed to service the proposed Esther Simplot Park and the already popular and only half complete whitewater park.

    Want more history? Up until 1974 27th Street was an old trolley line street like 23rd is today. In 74 ACHD mistakenly widened it to it’s current and dangerous configuration. The sad thing is that the 30th Extension had already been proposed at that time.

  9. I think where people live is irrelevant, where they drive should be the determining factor in where ACHD funds are spent.

  10. No gas stations on the south side of State Street. Very little useful retail on the south side. The reason I find this so relevant is that State is a busy road, and crossing it to pull into a place can be a bad idea, as getting back out across lanes can be very hard certain times of day. Also, with some gas station convenience stores and useful retail on the south side, there would not be so much jaywalking.

  11. Maybe the spending should go towards repairs and upkeep instead of new projects. If they can’t keep up with what they have it will only get worse with more roads.

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