The Idaho Transportation Department opened US-95 at milepost 188 on Monday, July 27. Drivers will be able to navigate through the area on a temporary gravel road that was built at the base of the slide.
This temporary roadway was previously used for a short period of time before additional movement of the slope was discovered, which ultimately resulted in further rockfall on the highway.
“Our focus has always been centered on reopening the highway as soon as possible,” Operations Engineer Jared Hopkins said. “The nature of this situation however, requires us to remain diligent and only make decisions when we can ensure the safety of both motorists and our workers.”
Last week, crews worked to blast and remove massive boulders that had fallen on the temporary roadway. Additional maintenance operations occurred over the weekend in order for traffic to begin utilizing the road Monday morning.
The temporary road will be open to one lane traffic during daytime hours only (5 a.m. to 8 p.m. PDT / 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. MDT). Drivers must adhere to flaggers and pilot cars that will be present to direct them through the area.
“We have been monitoring the slope since the initial slide occurred on July 3, and we will continue monitoring the slope while traffic is moving around the base of the slide,” stated Hopkins.
“Safe monitoring can only occur during daylight so the hours of travel will be reduced to coincide with such.”
Over the coming weeks, ITD will continue to remove rocks from US-95 and mitigate the stability of the slope.
“We appreciate how cooperative and patient the public has been throughout this process,” Hopkins said. “Our crews have been, and will continue, to work as quickly as possible to safely restore the highway and driving conditions back to normal.”