Idaho News

Idaho 55 has difficult winter driving conditions from Banks to Donnelly due to snow

High winds and drifting snow got so bad Monday that state transportation officials shut down a 53-mile section of Idaho Highway 55 at nightfall, according to a press release. According to the Idaho Transportation department’s 511 information website, difficult driving conditions still exist Tuesday morning along that stretch.

The highway between Banks and Donnelly have difficult driving conditions due to blowing snow and icy patches.

“The ferocity of the storm is forecasted to dwindle in the early hours Tuesday,” the release said. “When conditions allow, plow operations will resume. Additional resources are being dedicated to re-open the road as quickly as feasible.”

Other highway driving conditions are considered difficult due to blowing snow:

  • U.S. 20: Between Carey and Arco.
  • ID 32: Between Tetonia and Ashton
  • ID 33: Between Newdale and Tetonia

In an earlier release Monday, ITD warned that snow plows on the highway might be pulled off Idaho 55 if conditions continue to worsen. They urged people no to drive between Smiths Ferry and Cascade before making the decision to shut the highway down.

“Our foreman is reporting the worst conditions he’s seen in nearly a decade,” ITD spokesman Jake Melder said in the release. “Plow operators are seeing drifts 4 feet deep in the center of the roadway. As we continue the fight to keep the road open, we know we can only push so hard before putting our own crew members at risk.”

snow map.JPG

For updates on road conditions around Idaho, visit: 511.idaho.gov.

Katy Moeller has worked at The Idaho Statesman for 13 years. She’s a generalist, an investigative reporter and a feature writer who has been on the breaking news team for a decade. She was Idaho Press Club’s 2016 Print Reporter of the Year.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.
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