A steep rocky wall that overshadows U.S. 95 along the Salmon River near Lucille shed some of its exterior late Saturday (June 4), interrupting Idaho’s primary north-south highway.
Rocks cascaded down the moisture-saturated hillside and over protective retaining fences and jersey barriers, forcing overnight closure of the highway between mileposts 210 and 211, approximately 29 miles south of Grangeville. The road reopened to a single lane of traffic early Sunday morning, controlled by flaggers. Both lanes of traffic were restored by Sunday afternoon.
Crews continued to clean up the debris Monday and warned motorists of the possibility that more rocks might tumble down the hill.
of that continuing threat and the costs already expended in cleaning
up the debris, the Idaho Transportation Department has requested a Gubernatorial
Emergency Declaration in Idaho County. That designation would allow
ITD to request Emergency Relief funds through the Federal Highway Administration
to repair the damage.
“…there remains an imminent threat for more sliding that could cause additional damage and/or adverse effects on travel for this important highway,” wrote ITD Director Dave Ekern in his request for a disaster declaration from Idaho’s Bureau of Homeland Security.