Panel faces tough decisions with new transportation money

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A bridge that carries 1,600 cars a day over the Snake River is structurally deficient. A major interstate in northern Idaho needs new guardrails. And a rural intersection in eastern Idaho needs a left-turn lane.

These are some of the more than 700 maintenance projects that will be vying for new money from Idaho's transportation panel in the coming weeks.

Department of Transportation head Brian Ness says the board will focus on maintaining and preserving the current state of roads.

Lawmakers approved $95 million in new funding this year. But it won't solve all the problems, setting up tough decisions over where that money will go.

Julie DeLorenzo, a board member from Boise, says safety will be a priority in the decision-making.

She says fixing restricted bridges and increasing economic opportunity are also important.

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