The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) starts the blasting portion of the Idaho Highway 55 Smiths Ferry project Monday, September 21.
Drivers can anticipate the fall road closure schedule of Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to begin Monday. If motorists need to travel during this time frame, they are encouraged to plan around this schedule or use US-95. These closures will continue through mid-November when construction will pause for the winter months.
Crews will work during the 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 barrier to prevent falling rock from entering the travel lane, and protect the crews working next to traffic in the narrow work zone, will fill one lane. As a result, drivers can expect one-way, alternating traffic when blasts are not being conducted. Motorists can find additional details on ITD’s project website.
“For the safety of our crews and travelers, please plan for the road to be closed every Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until this winter when construction will pause,” Vince Trimboli, ITD Communications Manager said. “We appreciate the public’s patience during the project as we make these much needed safety improvements.”
As a reminder, 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
The project is expected to be completed by late fall 2022. Motorists are encouraged to sign up for text and email alerts to get the most up-to-date information on the project.
In the event of an emergency, ITD and emergency service 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.