Go slow, motorists: Saturated hillsides causing rocks to fall on highways

newsroom@idahostatesman.comMarch 6, 2014 

It was a wetter than normal February in Boise, and we've had rain five of the first six days of March. Rock slides in the Boise mountains have already begun, though spring is still a couple weeks off.

Most of the rockfall activity occurs at daybreak and at sunset — when the temperature drops off, said Reed Hollinshead, a spokesman for the Idaho Transportation Department.

ITD has a maintenance shed in Banks, and crews patrol Idaho 55 several times a day for rocks on the road. The crew includes four full-time employes and one part-time hourly employee. They work in day and night shifts, so there's someone available if rocks block the highway overnight.

A passenger car on Idaho 55 near Banks collided with a boulder on the highway Sunday morning, but no one was seriously injured, a Boise County dispatcher said.

The boulder that the car hit was reportedly 2-foot by 6-foot. It was on the highway near milepost 81.

Problem areas last weekend included Idaho 21 between Robie Creek Road and Grimes Creek Road, and the Banks to Lowman Highway.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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