District 1 revisits hazard-tree removals
to save money

To enhance highway safety, crews in District 1 (north Idaho) regularly remove hazardous trees growing near the roadsides throughout the region. Trees can fall onto the road or act as obstacles in the shoulder if vehicles leave the roadway. The trees can also shade roadways and cause icy conditions in winter, or hide approaching wildlife.

A two-mile section along Interstate 90 at Fourth of July Pass is finally being addressed, thanks to a partnership with the Idaho Department of Lands. The district was able to bring a contractor on board at no cost to the taxpayers. These trees hadn't been addressed previously because it wasn't safe for our crews or feasible with our equipment or cost effective.

Now, in addition to the removal of dead and dying hazard trees near the roadside on 200 acres of state property, the contractor will harvest other trees in the area to cover operating costs. ITD developed this logging project with assistance from the Idaho Department of Lands. 

“Given the number of trees that need to be removed in this section, the old way wasn’t feasible,” District 1 Operations Engineer Jerry Wilson said. “If this process works well, ITD could continue to use similar partnerships to increase safety along the entire corridor.” 

Hazard tree removal is an annual occurrence in north Idaho to safeguard the driving public.

ITD will pay no extra money for this safety improvement and will instead be able to direct funds to other maintenance activities.

Pictured below are tree-removal operations from last summer.

Published 05-03-19