BOISE The Idaho Transportation Department is preparing to do some rock blasting in the median along five miles of Interstate 84 east of Boise.

Crews began setting up traffic control in the area Wednesday, which stretches from the East Boise Port of Entry and the Mayfield exit (Stage Stop).

Officials say there are many basalt rock outcroppings in the median that contribute to run-off-the-road crashes. Over the past five years there have been 95 crashes on that stretch of I-84, involving 245 people.

Starting Thursday, crews will begin drilling around 80 holes that will be filled with explosives.

Blasting will take place once the holes are drilled and explosives loaded and connected. There will be rolling traffic closures to keep motorists a safe distance away from the blasts.

The roadway will be reconstructed and the loosened rock will be used to fill in areas next to the eastbound median to create 30-foot clear zones so eastbound vehicles will not run off the road and hit obstructions in the median.

On Monday, a contractor will begin a 10-mile resurfacing project in that same area. It goes from Eisenman Road to Indian Creek at exit 70. There will be a traffic shift after the Monday morning commute.

The eastbound lanes will be closed between milepost 59.8 and milepost 70 from Aug. 1 until just after Labor Day, when traffic will be shifted to the westbound side.

One lane of traffic will be open during the resurfacing.

The project costs $8.8 million and is expected to finish by mid-November.

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