assists with emulsion spill on Idaho 55
District 3 maintenance crews played a key role in reducing
the time needed to reopen Idaho 55 to two-way traffic following an asphalt
emulsion spill about two miles north of Smiths Ferry.
In a cleanup process, estimated to take one to three weeks, Banks Maintenance
Foreman Dan Bryant’s crew pitched in and helped get the highway
back to full service within a couple days.
"Our people did a tremendous job getting this finished," said
Dick Powell, District 3 Maintenance Supervisor. "We wanted the
area cleaned up and the road open to the public for the weekend traffic."
On Monday evening (Aug. 15) a tanker owned by Orr Trucking delivering
material for a seal coat operation flipped over its pup trailer on a
about a mile south of the Rainbow Bridge.
The trailer, which holds 2,100 gallons, landed on its side and spilled
most of its load of asphalt emulsion (about 60 percent asphalt, 40 percent
water). Some of the spill flowed over the bank into the North Fork of
the Payette River.
Maintenance crews contained much of the spill and managed traffic on
Idaho 55, which had to be restricted to one lane in the area.
emergency response was declared. Idaho State Police provided an incident
commander to work with Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, ITD
District 3 and the Valley County Sheriff1s Office. The state and local
group was joined by Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 on-site
coordinator Earl Liverman, who then organized the response and cleanup.
"The team effort to get this job done quickly has been outstanding,"
Liverman said. "All of the agencies involved in this operation
did more than their share to see that the job was done correctly and
sooner than estimated."
A dive team and environmental cleanup crew was brought in from Seattle
on Wednesday morning to assess the extent of the spill and help with
the cleanup. The divers and DEQ decided the solidified asphalt on the
river bottom posed no threat to the environment for wildlife or humans.
With ITD maintenance's help, the road was cleared, the shoulder restored
and concrete barrier replaced where it had been damaged.