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Home / IBR Headlines / Biz ‘Bites:’ Rockslide closes Highway 55 to McCall through Nov. 29 

Biz ‘Bites:’ Rockslide closes Highway 55 to McCall through Nov. 29 

The Nov. 18 rockslide which closed State Highway 55 between High Valley Road and Round Valley Road in the Smith's Ferry construction zone, approximately 13 miles south of the Cascade area.

The Nov. 18 rockslide which closed State Highway 55 between High Valley Road and Round Valley Road in the Smiths Ferry construction zone, approximately 13 miles south of the Cascade area. Photo courtesy of the Idaho Transportation Department

Rockslide closes Highway 55 to McCall through Nov. 29 

Though nowhere near as spectacular as the rockslide that closed Highway US-95 in the summer and half the fall of 2020, a rockslide on the afternoon of Nov. 18 has closed State Highway 55 through the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, just in time to clog the other route from Boise to McCall on US-95 for the holiday. The closure is between Smiths Ferry and Round Valley Road. 

The slide is in the Smiths Ferry construction zone, where the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is in the midst of a multiyear project to improve a portion of the highway that has historic elevated crash statistics. Construction to widen the road, install shoulders, straighten curves and remove upslope material began in 2020 and will continue at least into 2022. 

“We understand the inconvenience closing down the road causes, but our objective is to ensure the corridor is safe for travel,” said Jason Brinkman, ITD District 3 engineering manager. “These decisions are not taken lightly. We appreciate the public’s continued patience as we work to clear the material and reopen the road safely.” 

The slide is near the Rainbow Bridge, approximately 20 miles south of Cascade. It is estimated to have brought down 30,000-50,000 cubic yards of material and debris. It measures nearly 200 feet from the top of the slide to the roadway and is approximately 250 feet wide along the bottom. 

Idaho Power completes new fish passage for trout 

Idaho Power has announced it recently completed an innovative fish passage project that allows native rainbow trout to move between the Snake River and their spawning grounds in the Malad River in Gooding County. A short YouTube video explains the importance of this project and some of the engineering challenges that came with it.

This project also provides a research tool for Idaho Power biologists, and it is part of the company’s commitment to stewardship of the Snake River. Learn more about the company’s work to support native fish populations at idahopower.com/fish. 

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