Construction to take holiday break;
ITD to offer traffic control help on Idhao 55
All state highway construction projects that impact traffic will be suspended for this weekend’s Fourth of July holiday, except in special circumstances. In most cases, work will resume Monday (July 6).
The ITD construction specifications guide dictates that contractors on highway construction projects are prohibited from working on any roadway open to the traveling public, except normal maintenance operations, on any day of a 3-day holiday weekends or on July 3, 4 and 5, unless otherwise permitted. That means work will be suspended during the holiday periods.
Some of those very rare conditions in which work may continue are:
If crews are not working on the roadway open to the public
If the road is already closed and all traffic is using a designated detour
In an emergency situation (like flooding) where the roadway has been damaged and requires repair, or
On roads with very low traffic volumes
"For the most part, the contractor is like you and me, and has no interest in working over the holiday," said ITD Chief Engineer Tom Cole. "Most would probably take these days off even if we did not require them to keep the road open to travelers."
Motorists whose Fourth of July weekend plans include travel on Idaho State Highway 55, likely will experience congestion and delays between the Banks-Lowman Junction and Boise. ITD suggests drivers should avoid the heaviest traffic by traveling outside peak travel times and/or using alternate routes.
Flaggers at the road's intersection with the Banks-to-Lowman highway also will assist in a smoother trip.
Since 1995, ITD has assisted motorists over the longer Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends at the heavily used intersection of Idaho 55 and the Banks-to-Lowman Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway.
Travelers will see message boards in that area along with flaggers to help move the traffic along smoothly on Sunday (July 5) starting at 10 a.m. Flaggers will remain in place until traffic lessens and they are no longer required.
An Incident Response vehicle also will be on hand.
"Congestion is heaviest in this area, as travelers from the Garden Valley area access Idaho 55," said ITD Maintenance Engineer Gary Moles. "We want everyone to have a safe and fun weekend."
The transportation department offers the following tips for holiday weekend travelers:
Congestion is heaviest on the last evening of the holiday weekend, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Consider returning before or after that time to avoid the rush.
Consider using an alternate route. To use U.S. 95, travel north on Idaho 55 from McCall, take U.S. 95 south and use Interstate 84 to return to the Treasure Valley. This route may take less time than using Idaho 55 on a congested day.
Recreationists leaving the Garden Valley area may want to use Idaho 21 to return to the Treasure Valley.
Those who choose to use Idaho 55 when congestion is heaviest, should be patient and plan an extra hour or two for the return trip