D1 Operations tackles Rose Lake flooding

It’s been many years since flooding washed out the culvert on Idaho Highway 3 near Rose Lake, but high water levels routinely jeopardize the route.

It’s a marshy area, with the highway as one of the few barriers. In the spring, runoff adds to the creek’s volume, and due to the geography of the area, water actually can flow in both directions through the culvert.

The culvert has a floodgate on it—operated by a different entity—to help control the direction of the water, but that wasn’t always enough to keep water off the road.  

“We put in erosion control with fiber waddles and a silt fence to help direct water and keep the mud out,” said Ross Farrell, the St. Maries foreman who takes care of the route.

His team also placed about 500 cubic yards of topsoil to the area last year, followed by some hydroseeding. More of that will happen later this year, with vegetation such as Oregon grape, Woods’ rose and snowberry expected to take off.

“It hasn’t been tested by high water yet,” Farrell said, “but we think it’ll be a good fix without tearing out the road and severely impacting motorists and commerce.”

Published 05-10-19