US 95 between Riggins and Pollock may temporarily reopen tomorrow afternoon
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The following is a news release from the Idaho Transportation Department.
RIGGINS — Depending on geotechnical survey results, U.S. 95 between Pollock and Riggins may temporarily open tomorrow afternoon, Sunday, July 5, to allow traffic to drive around the rock slide that has closed the highway since Friday morning.
“We were fortunate that there was no further activity last night, and if repeated surveys show no more movement, we are prepared to open the highway for a short time,” ITD District Engineer Doral Hoff said. “We have surveyors on site right now to periodically gauge the stability of the slope.”
Around 9 a.m. Friday, the slope above milepost 188 crashed onto the highway, leaving a debris field approximately 120 feet long and 40 feet deep at the base. Some rocks measure 25 feet across and just as tall. Continued rockfall throughout the day kept maintenance crews from cleaning up the slide.
Equipment and operators from across the region have been called to the area. Crews are actively working to build a temporary road around the slide with a tall berm and container boxes to protect drivers in the event of more rockfall.
“Even with those protective measures in place, the biggest threat to drivers’ safety will be the stability of the slope above them,” Hoff said. “We cannot open the highway until we know it’s safe, and we won’t know without more surveys taken over time.”