Boulders fall on US-95 at site of last week’s rock slide
RIGGINS, Idaho — Massive boulders fell on Highway 95 near Riggins Thursday night.
The boulders fell in the same area as last Friday’s rock slide. The Idaho Transportation Department said the slope above the route remains too unstable to allow traffic or rock removal crews in the area.
“The highway will remain closed until we are able to evaluate this new development and determine the best option to safely stabilize the slope,” said operations engineer Jared Hopkins.
The department had built a temporary gravel road to detour traffic around the base of the slide, but significant movement on the slope closed it on Wednesday.
“The extensive rock fall that occurred last night confirmed that we had made the right decision to completely close that portion of US-95 to traffic,” Hopkins said.
Crews are set to begin scaling the slope and surveying the area early next week.
“Currently there are a lot of overhanging boulders and ledges,” Hopkins said. “We don’t yet know how stable these are and until we are able to further evaluate the area, crews will not be able to engage in rock removal operations.”
Old Pollock Road will continue to serve as a detour around the slide during daytime hours (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). The detour will be closed at night for crews to work on the roadway.
The slope and area around the slide is considered extremely hazardous. ITD asked citizens to stay away from the area for their safety and to use the detour.
“The proven unpredictability of this slide requires that we remain flexible,” Hopkins said. “While our goal is to safely reopen the highway as soon as possible, we are very thankful that no one has been injured and will focus our efforts to ensure that it remains that way.”