ITD busy after long winter damages roads

KREM 2's Taylor Viydo explains why this winter has been exceptionally tough for Idaho Transportation Department. (4-7-17)

KOOTENAI CO., Idaho --- The Idaho Transportation Department is dealing with a slew of mudslides across the area.

Workers said they can’t remember the last stretch of time they have been busy.

ITD said between the mudslides now and the harsh winter – all the snow and potholes – they have not been able to catch a break.

“We put a lot more hours in, a lot more materials out on the road than your typical year,” said Mike Lenz, from ITD. “Since I’ve been here, I can’t recall a year that’s been this busy, as far as the snow we’ve had, going into potholes and now into the mudslides. It’s been out of the norm.”

ITD, as of Friday, was dealing with at least four active landslides in North Idaho. Earlier this week, Highway 3 near Black Lake in Kootenai County cracked and was moving at a rate of one inch a day. Then, Friday morning, the site of a mudslide in Boundary County became active again.

“As that list gets bigger, it’s troubling to see,” said Lenz.

The biggest project has been Highway 5 in Benewah County, which slid significantly.

But things were busy before that too. The wet fall and then the winter had crews putting in more hours than usual.

“Our guys were having a hard time trying to balance plowing plus filling the potholes at the same time,” Lenz said. He said if they got any money from emergency relief funds, it likely would not come for some time.

“It never really slows down for us,” he said.

After this spring, ITD will begin construction season in the summer.

© 2017 KREM-TV


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