Completing a new temporary route east of Plummer and west of St. Maries earlier than expected, the Idaho Transportation Department has given motorists a detour around a section of Idaho State Highway 5 recently decimated by moisture under the road and slides.
The new 500-foot-long route opened in time for the morning commute Wednesday, with temporary signals at each end of the route guiding traffic. A solid concrete guardrail will be placed on the edge to safeguard drivers.
Work on the temporary route began last Thursday. Crews placed a rock base, rolled it to compact the base, and placed a layer of top fill gravel and dirt on top.
To provide a smoother surface for drivers and protect the new temporary route around Idaho 5 between St. Maries and Plummer, Idaho Transportation Department crews will pave the new 500-foot-long temporary route Friday night (March 31) with about 2.5 inches of asphalt.
The paving will start at 8 p.m. Friday and finish by 3 a.m. Saturday. This timeframe as chosen because it will impact the fewest travelers, as the lowest traffic volumes are overnight.
The temporary route will be completely closed during this paving. Detour routes are Idaho 6 to the south, connecting with U.S. 95, or Idaho 3 to the north, connecting to Interstate 90.
The temporary route will remain in place as Idaho 5 is rebuilt over the next several months. The larger reconstruction will likely last through mid-summer, but will not begin until geologists make a determination on the stability of the road area.