‘Above and beyond’: ITD to add shipping containers to protect drivers in slide-prone Idaho 55 zone

Date:

Share post:

Idaho Transportation Department work crews will reinstall large shipping containers in the Idaho 55 work zone between Smiths Ferry and the Round Valley.

That area has seen three mudslides in the past year in an area that is seeing heavy construction as part of a multi-million dollar project to widen the state highway through the canyon along the Payette River. The latest happened last month during a time when the work zone was on a pause for the winter.

ITD communications chief Vince Trimboli told BoiseDev Wednesday that the shipping containers are part of the agency’s effort to go “above and beyond” for safety, and that they were not prompted by any additional information or issues.

[‘Everybody’s suffering:’ Some Valley Co. residents upset with Idaho 55 Smiths Ferry closure]

“These are additional safety measures,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can. We told the public we would do everything in our power to make the road as safe as possible.”

Trimboli noted that the shipping containers have been in place before and were removed ahead of the winter downtime.

“We decided it was something we can put back there as another mitigation,” he said.

No one has been injured by any of the three slides – but one was so extensive that it closed the road for several weeks around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Work to put the barriers in place will start soon, though a firm timeline is not in place. ITD said the work could start “as soon as tomorrow, Feb. 3,” and will take three to four days. While crews are working, traffic will be restricted to one lane, alternating – with 15-minute delays. Once the containers are placed, the road will reopen to two lanes.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

Start your day with all the local news you need.
Delivered by email M-F at 6am. FREE!

Unsubscribe any time
Related stories