BOISE The drive back to Boise could be a little slower today.

The Idaho Transportation Department is urging drivers to avoid the heaviest traffic on Highway 55 by traveling outside the peak travel times today or use an alternate route.

Starting at 10 a.m. flaggers will assist motorists at the very busy junction of Highway 55 and the Banks-to-Lowman Road.

Electronic message boards will also be posting traffic updates to help move traffic smoothly through that area.

Flaggers are expected to remain on scene until 7 p.m. tonight.

Since 1995, ITD has used flaggers to assist motorists during busy holiday weekends throughout the summer.

Congestion is heaviest in this area, as travelers from the Garden Valley area access Idaho 55, ITD Maintenance Engineer Michael Garz said. We want everyone to have a safe and fun trip.

ITD says travelers can expect about 10-minute delays on Highway 55, and about 30-minute delays on the Banks-to-Lowman Road.

The transportation department offers the following tips for holiday weekend travelers:

- Congestion is usually heaviest on the last afternoon of the holiday weekend, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Consider returning from your trip before or after that time to avoid the rush.

- Consider using an alternate route. To use U.S. 95, travel north on Idaho 55 from McCall, take U.S. 95 south and use Interstate 84 to return to the Treasure Valley. This route may take less time than using Idaho 55 on a congested day. Recreationists leaving the Garden Valley area might consider using Idaho 21 to return to the Treasure Valley.

- If you choose to use Idaho 55 when congestion is heaviest, be patient and plan an extra hour or two for your return trip.

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