The Idaho Transportation Board has agreed to reach into a state fund to pay contractors working on federal highway projects across the state.
The state would begin tapping those accounts if the partial federal government shutdown extends beyond Thursday. Officials say the alternative is shutting down $30 million a month in road projects now underway across the state and another $875,000 in transit services.
The Idaho Transportation Department will pursue reimbursement from the federal government once an agreement is reached to reopen the government.
Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead says it's important for the state to honor contracts that have already been awarded and to keep people working.
The board will review its decision monthly if the budget crisis continues.