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Blocked north Idaho highway may reopen this week

Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-21 18:11:48-04

Travel through a blocked stretch of Idaho 14 west of Elk City may resume by the end of this week, after crews successfully reduced a large boulder threatening highway cleanup into smaller, manageable pieces.

The boulder, measuring 30 foot tall by 80 feet wide, had to be reduced in size for work on the highway below to proceed safely and on schedule, said Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Steve Grant.

Crews blasted the boulder on Saturday and again on Sunday.

“Eliminating the threat of the boulder is a priority to restore better access to Elk City, Red River, Orogrande, American River and Dixie. Traffic in and out of the area was limited to weather-dependent Forest Service road/trails 1199 and 1858,” Grant stated,

A one-lane, limited-access road is planned for now. It will have an all-weather surface and may be used by all vehicle types.

A Feb. 18 landslide closed Idaho 14 after 100,000 tons of rock and debris slid onto the roadway.