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ITD: Highway 55 near Smiths Ferry blasting to start on Monday

Posted at 8:51 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-21 09:43:29-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will start the blasting part of the Highway 55 Smiths Ferry project on September 21. Drivers in the area can expect the fall road closure schedule of Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to also start on September 21.

If drivers need to travel during this time frame, they are encouraged to plan around the schedule or use US-95. The closures will continue through mid-November when construction will pause for the winter.

Crews will work during closures to safely blast and remove rock from the canyon to widen the roadway between Smiths Ferry and the Rainbow Bridge. Large equipment, including steel containers and temporary barriers to prevent rock falling onto the road and protect crews working from traffic, will fill one lane.

Drivers should expect one-way, alternating traffic when blasts are not being done. You can find more information about the project on the ITD website.

“For the safety of our crews and travelers, please plan ahead for the road to be closed every Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until this winter,” Vince Trimboli, ITD Communications Manager said. “We appreciate the public’s patience during the project as we make these much-needed safety improvements.”

Seasonal closures and traffic patterns will be as follows:

  • Fall (September – November): One-way alternating traffic; daytime and nighttime work, seven days a week; full road closures Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Winter (December – Mid-March): No construction expected; all lanes open
  • Spring (Mid-March – Mid-May): One-way alternating traffic; daytime and nighttime work, seven days a week; full road closures Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Summer (Mid-May – August): One-way alternating traffic; daytime and nighttime work, Monday - Friday

This project is expected to be finished by late fall 2022. In the event of an emergency, ITD and emergency services providers have a system in place to allow vehicles through the work zone so they can transport patients or respond to other emergencies in a safe, timely manner.