Drivers can soon expect delays on one of Idaho’s most heavily traveled highways.
Idaho Highway 55 near Smith’s Ferry will be closed Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting Wednesday, September 8. Outside of those hours, one lane on the highway will be open to alternating one-way traffic. The full road closure will likely create a buildup of traffic in the afternoon, which means possibly long wait times when the road immediately reopens at 2 p.m.
The closure comes as crews with the Idaho Transportation Department are rock blasting in the area. ITD says the goal of the project is to make several improvements to the roadway, including building a retaining wall on the riverside, pinning back rock, and straightening the roadway.
The closure is expected to last through mid-November when crews will pause work and the road will fully reopen for the winter. The entire project is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2022.
“We have managed to accomplish a great deal of work on this project so far,” said Alex Deduck, ITD Project Manager. “To date, we have excavated about 100,000 cubic yards of material which allows us to expand the shoulders by four feet in the canyon. Ultimately, this project will make passage in the canyon safer for drivers.”