Traffic shift in SH-53 work zone in Rathdrum

Aerial view of SH-53 looking north from Mill Street


The Idaho Transportation Department is widening State Highway 53 and replacing existing sidewalks in Rathdrum to improve safety and mobility for drivers and pedestrians. Construction resumed in March and is anticipated to be complete by late fall. So far crews have intermittently reduced SH-53 to one lane with flaggers but that will be changing soon.

“In the next week, we plan to stripe the temporary lanes we built on the north side earlier this spring and shift traffic onto them,” Project Manager Steven Bakker said. “This will mean we can keep one lane open in each direction this year. Our goal is to get it done before the rain this weekend, but if it doesn’t happen tomorrow it’ll happen early next week.”

The widening between Rathdrum City Park (Latah Street) and Sylte Ranch Road will add a continuous center-turn lane and a designated right-turn lane to access Bingham Street. Both additions will keep through traffic moving while providing a safe area for turning drivers.

Drivers can expect the following conditions during construction:

  • One lane of traffic in each direction on SH-53 from early April through completion
  • Pedestrian access maintained through the work zone
  • Speed limit reduced to 25 mph
  • Short-term closures of side streets
  • Reduced parking along SH-53
  • Narrowed lanes

Later this year, Mill Street will be closed for up to four weeks as crews widen SH-53 past this intersection. Updates will be provided with more specific details regarding this closure at a later date. Drivers are asked to follow on-street signage for side-street closures, detour routes, and other construction impacts to safely pass through the work zone. Updates are also available on Idaho 511 to help drivers plan their travel.

“Our goal is to minimize impacts to local businesses and drivers,” Bakker said. “We are working to keep traffic flowing, while ultimately constructing a safer corridor for all users.”

The first stages of this project took place in 2023 as crews extended a culvert for Rathdrum Creek and built ditches to enhance drainage west of the city park.

This project is part of a larger effort to enhance safety on the SH-53 corridor between the Washington state line and Rathdrum. To sign up for email updates or for more information on this project or SH-53 corridor-wide plans, visit or email