ITD crews removing soil deposited by winter winds

The Post Register
The wind blows everywhere in eastern Idaho, but it doesn't affect any roadway as much as it affects Interstate 15 in the Osgood area.

That's where crews from the Idaho Transportation Department are in the process of hauling away more than 2,000 dump truck loads of soil deposited by dust storms in recent years.

"It's a tremendous amount of soil," department spokesman Bruce King said. "The Osgood area is the one known for dust storms. Dust accumulates from those storms."

Crews began work in the half-mile stretch of the west shoulder of southbound interstate lanes during the first week of July, King said. Work will wrap up by week's end, he said.

The soil is being trucked to the department's gravel pit in the Ucon area where it's used to fill in spots where gravel was extracted.

Osgood was hit particularly hard this year because of the mild winter. With little snow on the ground, the wind picked up loose topsoil from nearby farmland, creating unsafe driving conditions. Dust storms resulted in three closures on the interstate, King said.

The winter storms accelerated the soil buildup, King said. The department removes soil every three or four years as needed.

I-15 typically closes two or three times a year due to wind storms in the Osgood area, King said.

Published 7-27-2012