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Highway 55 closure creates issues for travelers and a business in Crouch

Posted at 3:27 PM, Mar 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 00:17:30-04

CROUCH, Idaho — UPDATE

The Idaho Transportation Department announced Sunday at 5:30 that Highway 55 will remain closed as conditions remain unsafe.

Drivers are advised to use the alternative route on Highway 95 for ITD to assess the situation; they plan on releasing their next update Tuesday.

ORIGINAL STORY

The Idaho Transportation Department closed Highway 55 at Smith's Ferry through the weekend because of a rockslide at the spot where they are working to widen the highway.

If you happened to drive to Horseshoe Bend this weekend, to Banks, or even Garden Valley it was really easy to notice there weren't many cars on the road and this area is busy almost every weekend.

ITD has multiple signs posted about the closure, but one pair attempting to travel north to McCall didn't get the memo and they had to turn around when they got to the closed portion of the highway.

“So we came back and saw the sign for Crouch," said Lindsay Holmes. "I said let's go to Crouch, it's a cute mountain town and we will just hang out there."

They ended up at the Two Rivers Grill which is owned by Robert and Elizabeth Harold, and they've been in their current building in the downtown area of Crouch for eight years.

The Harold's were also affected by the closure because the food distribution trucks were rerouted over to Highway 95 and skipped Garden Valley altogether.

"They didn’t bring a truck up here because they didn’t have any trucks going this way, they were all going around the long way to McCall so we had to run and get our own products," said Robert Harold. "It ticks me off, it’s like me saying here’s your chicken marsala, but you have to go to the kitchen and cook it yourself.”

The Harold's drove to Boise to get what they needed as Harold cooks all the meals at the Two Rivers Grill, at least they didn't have to deal with traffic as the roads resembled how they looked a year ago during the COVID-19 lockdown.

But the Harold's told us last year was the busiest year they've ever had as people tried to find somewhere to go during the pandemic, many headed for the mountains.

“The COVID thing brought us great business and was a real shot in the arm for us," said Robert. "We opened the patio and just never looked back, it was the busiest year we've ever had."

Even though the pair of travelers stumbled onto the Two Rivers Grill by mistake, they weren't disappointed with spending their weekend in Crouch.

“When we got to Two Rivers it was like we were family, they just made us feel exactly at home," said Paul Amenta. "We are over here with the mountainscape in the background and it’s just absolutely beautiful.”

We are still waiting on word from the Idaho Transportation Department on the status of the road, they said they would release an update on Sunday afternoon.