Idaho 55 back open following mudslide

September 7, 2013 

Crews with the Idaho Transportation Department reopened Idaho Highway 55 around 8 p.m. tonight.

The highway, the main route between Boise and McCall, had been closed since Thursday evening after a mudslide swept trees, rocks and soil onto the roadway. The closure ran from Garden Valley Road 13 miles north of Horseshoe Bend to Smith's Ferry Drive 14 miles south of Cascade.

Officials urge motorists to use caution when passing through the area. Crews remain on the scene to continue clearing debris. Flaggers are stationed between the Sportsman Access 16 miles north of Horseshoe Bend and Smith's Ferry Drive.

The force of the slide was so great it caused a guardrail to bend toward the Payette River. Between 5,000 and 6,000 cubic yards of debris has been removed from the site, ITD spokesman Reed Hollinshead said.

"The cleanup will continue for the next week or so, but vehicles will be able to pass through after the road is reopened, Hollinshead said.

Electronic signs are in place to provide information as motorists approach the slide area.

The slide happened after heavy rains hit an area that had previously burned in a wildfire.

Updated information can be found on the ITD system. Call 511 or visit 511.idaho.gov for the latest information.

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