ITD encourages safe travel on Memorial Day weekend outings;
flaggers to ease congestion on Idaho 55

If your holiday weekend plans include travel on Idaho 55, ITD asks you to avoid the heaviest traffic by traveling outside peak travel times or using alternate routes. ITD will arrange for flaggers to help with traffic flow through the Idaho 55 junction with the Banks-to-Lowman Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway.
Since 1995, the transportation department has assisted motorists over the longer Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends at the heavily traveled junction.
Travelers will see electronic message boards in that area along with flaggers to help move traffic smoothly on Monday (May 28), starting at 10 a.m. Flaggers will remain in place until no longer needed.

An Incident Response vehicle also will be stationed at the junction.

"Congestion is heaviest in this section, as travelers from the Garden Valley area access Idaho 55," ITD Maintenance Engineer Tom Points said. "We want everyone to have a safe and fun weekend."

There is about three times as much traffic on Idaho 55 than on the Banks-to-Lowman highway, so the flaggers maintain that same 3:1 ratio in terms of traffic delays - 30-minute delays on the Banks-to-Lowman highway and 10 minutes on Idaho 55.

All ITD projects will be suspended during the holiday weekend and many will resume Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

The transportation department offers the following tips for holiday weekend travelers:

  • Congestion is usually heaviest on the last afternoon of the holiday weekend, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Consider returning from your trip 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 might consider using Idaho 21 to return to the Treasure Valley.
  • If you choose to use Idaho 55 when congestion is heaviest, be patient and plan an extra hour or two for your return trip.


Published 5-25-2012