ITD says Highway 55 rockslide happened in work zone, now open to one-way traffic

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 20:51:49-04

Traveling on Highway 55 through Smith's Ferry is about to be a little more consistent.

The Idaho Transportation Department determined the hillside where that rock slide occurred last month remains stable. When the slide happened it closed the highway and forced drivers to take a long detour on Highway 95.

“Safety is the top priority of the Idaho Transportation Department. We are thankful no one was hurt during the rockslide activity on State Highway 55 last month,” said District 3 Administrator Caleb Lakey in a statement. “Hillsides and slopes become more unstable when doing work of this nature. We expect rock fall as a part of these projects. We had precautions in place to protect the traveling public in case of any slide activity and are doubling down on those precautions.”

Related: Tamarack Resort feeling the impact of the Highway 55 closure

The slide happened within a work zone where crews are cutting into the adjacent hillside to create extra room and enhance the overall safety of that stretch of highway.

“I appreciate the public’s patience as we responded to this rockslide,” said Lakey. “We did not take the reduction of service on this critical corridor lightly. It’s a good reminder to drive attentive and be on the lookout for rocks on the roadway during the springtime.”

Travelers should still plan for 15 minute delays until late may, and the road will be closed Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.