ID-55 project between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley to start September 8

ID-55 at Smiths Ferry

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) starts road work on the Idaho Highway 55 safety-enhancement project between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley on September 8.

The public is invited to attend a virtual public meeting on Wednesday, September 2, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. where ITD representatives will give an overview of the project and take questions. The link to attend will be posted on the project website, itdprojects.org/ID55smithsferry, 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

Work will largely be done in fall, spring and summer months, with construction stopping during the winter. This fall, travelers can expect full closures on the roadway Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to allow for blasting and rock removal.

Motorists can find additional details on road closures and traffic patterns on the project website, and can sign up for email and text updates.

“Our goal with this project is to enhance the safety of this mile-long section of the roadway,” Project Manager Alex Deduck said. “Construction crews will remove about 146,000 tons of rock from the hillside, which we want to do very carefully to not create rockslides or impact the river.”

Crews will work on widening shoulders and straightening the curves of the road. This project will also provide a smoother, safer ride for motorists by adding guardrail.

Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds and lanes reduced to one-way alternating traffic during construction. Seasonal closures and traffic patterns will be as follows:

  • Fall (September – November): One-way alternating traffic controlled by a temporary signal; 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 controlled by a temporary signal; 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 controlled by flaggers; daytime and nighttime work, Monday – Friday

The project is expected to be completed by late fall 2022. ITD and the Idaho State Police advise motorists to slow down and pay attention when driving in work zones, where increased speeding fines and other penalties apply. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and dial 5-­1-­1 or visit 511.idaho.gov for information on the state highway or interstate system.

Innovative virtual public meeting allows Idahoans to comment on upcoming ID-55 project online

Smiths Ferry Featured

To maximize the public’s ability to provide input on upcoming construction, the Idaho Transportation Department is launching a virtual public meeting on proposed improvements for Idaho Highway 55 from Smiths Ferry to Round Valley.

You can view the project information and participate in the virtual public meeting by clicking here or visiting https://bit.ly/2BCNCzx.The Department will receive public comments until March 3. The online meeting tool allows visitors to interactively learn about the project and provide direct feedback to ITD.

The improvements will address existing safety concerns on the corridor by widening the road, adding ditches to catch rockfall and constructing shoulders and guardrail where appropriate. Additional work will improve wildlife habitat and passage under the roadway. The result will be a safer corridor with higher speed limits to improve mobility.

“This project will affect a diverse group of people from far and wide, including nearby residents and recreationists from around the region,” said ITD engineering manager Jason Brinkman. “This virtual public meeting allows us to effectively reach those groups and get their input to help us make well-informed decisions.”

Construction could begin as soon as the Fall of 2019. The work will require significant blasting and excavating of the hillsides adjacent to ID-55. To complete this work, regular closures of several hours will be enforced. ITD will conduct extensive public outreach to inform users of the highway about these impacts and work with them to mitigate the impacts of construction.