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Darigold warns of traffic issues, scarce parking near site of downtown Caldwell fire

More than 200 contractors continue work on cleanup, damage assessment and remediation at the milk processing facility ravaged by fire on Oct. 12.
Credit: Jake Dorman
Fire at the Darigold plant in Caldwell.

CALDWELL, Idaho — As Darigold continues to clean up and assess the damage left by a five-alarm fire on Oct. 12 at its milk-processing facility in Caldwell, the company is also getting the word out about heightened traffic congestion and parking difficulties around the site on Albany Street.

More than 100 people were employed by Darigold at the plant in Caldwell before the fire.

Now, Darigold says more than 200 contractors are working 24 hours a day at the site, which means there may be "as many as 150 to 200 additional cars and light trucks" as well as larger commercial trucks, construction trailers and heavy machinery on the streets around the facility, which is just a few blocks northwest of Indian Creek Plaza.

Albany Street is closed to traffic between North Fourth and North Seventh avenues. Darigold also advises heavy foot traffic at the crosswalk across North Fifth Ave.

The company did not say when the work might be completed, but expects "the current pace of work to continue for the foreseeable future."

Darigold and the City of Caldwell also issued the following statements Friday:

Chris Arnost, head of communications at Darigold: "We have dozens of farmer-owners and more than 100 Caldwell employees whose livelihood depends on this processing facility, and we are committed to maintaining a processing facility in Caldwell following the recent fire. We are working around the clock to accelerate the process of stabilizing the site and assessing damage so we can begin to rebuild, and we know that presents some disruption and inconvenience for our neighbors in Caldwell. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and ask for the community's patience while we work to restore this long-time Caldwell asset."

Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas: "The City of Caldwell fully supports Darigold's actions in rebuilding and the necessary steps it will take to get their plant rebuilt completely and back to full capacity. We are their partner and stand beside them. We will help them in any way possible to get their construction done more effectively and efficiently. We may look into street closures and possibly the usage of public rights of way to ensure the safety of the public and those involved in the rebuilding process. We wish them the best in their rebuilding process and are here to support them in any way we can."

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