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Back to the drawing borard for I-84?

Opinion by Steve Crump
Twin Falls Times-News

Speaking of travel disasters... I think it may be time for the Idaho Transportation Department and the federal government to shut down Interstate 84 between Burley and the Utah border and start over.

The last time I traveled that stretch of freeway, in early January, the road between Strevell and Malta was covered with black ice and the wind was blowing from the west at about 40 mph, so that if you didn't manage to slide off the road on your own, the wind would start a skid for you.

Since the winter's first big blizzard on New Year's Eve, I've been monitoring the ITD Web site, where highway conditions are listed by road segment. One day the report for I-84 looked like this:

Boise-Mountain Home
Surface: Dry
Weather: Clear

Mountain Home-Glenns Ferry
Surface: Dry
Weather: Clear

Glenns Ferry-Twin Falls
Surface: Dry
Weather: Clear

Twin Falls-Salt Lake Interchange
Surface: Dry
Weather: Clear

Salt Lake Interchange-Utah Line

I struck up a conversation at a truck stop in aptly named Snowville, which sits along the interstate near the Utah-Idaho border, with a long-haul driver a couple of years ago. He told me that he always turned around and took another route whenever blowing snow cut visibility on I-84 to less than a truck-length.

''It's just too hard to see the wrecked cars in your path,'' he explained.