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Idaho 55 to reopen with alternating traffic Wednesday

The reopening comes more than a week after a rockslide buried the road in boulders and debris.

SMITHS FERRY, Idaho — Highway 55 is set to reopen to cars on Wednesday, more than a week after a rockslide buried the road in boulders and debris. 

The Idaho Transportation Department announced Tuesday afternoon that drivers will be allowed through the section of highway near Smiths Ferry beginning Wednesday. 

The highway will be open with alternating traffic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Drivers should expect at least 15 minutes of delays in the area, and plan trips accordingly.

U.S. 95 has been used as the alternate route through the area, and ITD is recommending that anyone in large vehicles, including RVs and trucks pulling trailers, go that way instead.

"We want to thank the public for their patience as we respond to this rock slide," said Caleb Lakey, ITD District Engineer. "Our ITD personnel and contractor crews have worked nights and weekends to open the road and protect the public. While this is a major milestone, we recognize that there is still significant effort required to resolve this issue."

ITD crews will continue to monitor the area above the highway, and will close the road again if weather or hillside conditions change. The department has called in national slide experts, and is planning to remove the remaining rocky outcropping in the next week. That project will require another full road closure while crews work in the area. 

Travelers planning to use Idaho 55 are encouraged to plan ahead, visit Idaho 511, and expect delays. 

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