The Idaho Transportation Department says Highway 55 is still not safe for drivers and will remain closed until at least Tuesday. The road has been shut down in both directions for the past week after a rockslide hit the road near Smith’s Ferry. After monitoring the stretch of highway over the weekend, ITD crews say the area still presents a safety risk to the traveling public.
“Recent weather conditions paired with the weakened hillside, rock and soil from the slide has created a situation that requires further considerations before we can allow cars through,” said Caleb Lakey, ITD District Engineer. “We know ID-55 is an important travel corridor in Idaho and we are working hard to open the road safely.”
ITD Communications Manager Vince Trimboli says that crews are working with experts and will be doing some blasting to clear the rocks obstructing the road.
“We’ll be looking into the plans for partial reopening soon,” Trimboli said. “It is open to some needed local traffic, including emergency responders. There’s also a child in the area that needs to get to school and we’ve been working with their parents.”
ITD will provide another update on the closure Tuesday. For now, ITD recommends drivers to use U.S. 95 as an alternate route.
After the slide is cleared, Highway 55 will still be closed Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as crews resume construction on the Smiths Ferry and Rainbow Bridge project, which will widen narrow roads and add guardrails.