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Highway 95 still closed as monitoring efforts continue at rockslide south of Riggins

ITD is working to to determine if the area is stable enough for crews to begin working on rock removal.
Credit: ITD
Highway 95 remains closed at the site of a rockslide south of Riggins. The slope remains unstable.

RIGGINS, Idaho — The Idaho Transportation Department says a section of Highway 95 remains closed as engineers continue to monitor the slope where a rockslide occurred south of Riggins earlier this month.

“The additional rock fall that occurred last Thursday invalidated the survey points we were monitoring,” ITD Operations Engineer Jared Hopkins said. “We have to once again establish a baseline and carefully monitor the slope over a number of days to ensure that no significant movement is continuing to occur that would cause concern.”

ITD is working to to determine if the area (at milepost 188) is stable enough for crews to begin working on rock removal.

A scaling crew was back onsite Monday to evaluate damage from the recent rock fall and assess how the area can be best secured so that crews can begin removing fallen rock off the highway. Scalers also knocked off loose rocks and boulders on the slope.

Scaling activities, along with continued monitoring, are expected to continue throughout the remainder of this week.

“We need to give the slope time to stabilize,” Hopkins explained. “When we are able to safely bring more crews into the area, we will begin rock removal, starting first on the temporary road built at the base of the slide.”

Some of the fallen rock measure up to 40 feet in diameter. Crews will have to  breaking the massive boulders into pieces and then remove them with heavy equipment.

“Blasting in some form will likely occur,” said Hopkins. “This will be done in a controlled manner and we will continue to carefully monitor the above slope while any work on the ground is underway.”

The highway will remain closed until it is determined that the slope is stable and crews are safely able to enter the area and remove fallen rock.

Drivers can still get around the slide during the daytime hours on Old Pollock Road, a four-mile detour that has flaggers on some sections that are only one lane wide.  It is open from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. MDT. The detour will remain closed at night.

Hopkins said the goal is to reopen the temporary roadway on Highway 95 as soon as it’s feasible to do so.

“We have to continue to put the safety of our workers and the traveling public first in every decision we make. Our team is working hourly and diligently on this ever-changing situation and we appreciate the patience and cooperation of area residence and motorists as we work to restore the highway.”

You can check the latest road conditions in Idaho by going to their 511 page.

RELATED: Massive boulders crash down on highway overnight near earlier rockslide

RELATED: Significant movement on rockslide forces ITD to close Highway 95 again

RELATED: Highway 95 remains closed between Riggins and Pollock due to slide activity

RELATED: ITD: Highway 95 near Riggins closed after 120-foot rock slide