Earthquake Causes Rockfalls on Several Idaho Roads

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook the Idaho Central Mountains on March 31, causing rockfalls that blocked several mountain highways, including: Idaho Highway 75 (ID-75) near Stanley; ID-21 north and south of Lowman; ID-55 between Horseshoe Bend and Cascade; and ID-52 east of Emmett.

[Above photo by the ITD.]

After the earthquake, the Idaho Transportation Department said its maintenance crews got to work clearing the roads of debris and scanning bridge structures for damage. At this time, there has been no damage of concern to the bridges and the highways remain open, the agency said in a statement.

Aftershocks continue to rock the region, causing additional rockfalls to occur, so the agency said its crews continue to patrol “high-risk areas” to actively clean rocks from the highway.

The department added that the under the stay-home order issued by Governor Brad Little (R), ongoing maintenance and operation of roads are considered “essential services” and will continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Idaho Transportation Department said its crews will continue to respond to rockfall and other hazards created by this earthquake, as well as provide other additional essential services, such as plowing snow, pothole repair, and striping.


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