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Final major blast happening today at the rockslide site near Riggins

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Posted at 8:53 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 10:53:43-04

RIGGINS, Idaho — The final major blast at the rockslide site near Riggins will close both US-95 and Old Pollock Road at 12 p.m. Tuesday. The closure will allow crews to blast 1,000 cubic yards of unstable rock from the slope adjacent to the active slide.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), the closure is expected to last around 30 minutes. After the blast, traffic will be allowed to travel on the temporary road around the base of the slide or Old Pollock Road.

“Although this particular slope is not currently sliding, it has the potential to,” Materials Engineer Janet Zarate said. “We plan to proactively address it now while we have the right equipment and people in the area.”

This is the second major and final blast to remove material from the slope. ITD says this blast will be much smaller than the first. Once the blasting is finished, drivers can expect continued 20 minute delays for several weeks, while geotechnical experts finish dislodging loose material.

“During those short-duration closures, the temporary signals will turn red,” Zarate said. “It’s important to stop so you’re not driving below boulders as they are being pushed off the rock face.”

The next steps for slope stabilization include reinforcing the remaining slope with bolts and wire fencing. ITD says repairs are expected to take until mid-November to complete.