Longer summertime hours and unrestricted travel starting Monday highlight Idaho 14 landslide clean up near Elk City

Taking advantage of earlier sunlight hours to expedite clean-up efforts in the aftermath of a massive landslide west of Elk City on Idaho 14, the Idaho Transportation Department on Monday (July 11) will move up work hours to start at 5 a.m. on the project. The slide clean up is on pace for completion in late August.

Vehicles will be piloted through the work zone all day, from 5 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Previously, weekday traffic had only been piloted through from noon to 1 p.m.

"By accelerating the excavation activities to take advantage of the longer summertime daylight hours, we would provide 10 additional hours of work per week and could shorten the overall schedule of excavation by up to a few weeks," explained ITD south-central Idaho District Engineer Dave Kuisti.

Kuisti said that the slide material had been unpredictable and unstable to this point, but that has changed. "Based on current site conditions and discussions with the contractor, we feel that the excavation and haul operations have recently developed to a point that we can safely allow piloting during the normal work hours."

Motorists can expect delays of up to 30 minutes during work hours because crews will be pushing materials down the hillside to the catchment area and then cleaning the roadway.

The route will remain open during non-working hours and weekends.

West Co, the contractor for the clean up, is currently loading and hauling about 170-200 truckloads of slide material from the site's catchment area each day.

One or two bulldozers are pushing slide material down to the catchment area, with an excavator down at road level loading the trucks. Another excavator is reducing large boulders to a manageable size before pushing them to the bottom.

Approximately 160,000 cubic yards have been removed from the slide area to date.

Published 07-08-16