Avalanche threat ends; US 12 open

Highway closed Sunday night

Road Updates Online:

http://511.idaho.gov

After a nearly two-day closure due to threat of avalanche, U.S. Highway 12 was set for reopening as of press time Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 10.

Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) engineers made the determination, according to spokesman Reed Hollingshead, based on changing weather conditions – colder temperatures with no significant forecasted precipitation levels – that would allow the snowpack to stabilize along the hillside.

Idaho County’s east-west highway was closed Sunday night, Jan. 8, at 9 p.m., from mileposts 126 to 139, due to the amount of snowfall through the area, coupled with rising temperatures that could cause snowpack instability.

Threats to safety were too high to allow motorists to traverse the route, according to Jake Melder, ITD spokesman.

For motorists, Melder advised the best, real-time information on travel conditions and updates is available through the Idaho 511 system: online at http://511.idaho.gov or download the app for smartphones.

“Checking 511 is always a good idea,” he said, as it provides conditions on all roads throughout the state.

Melder added even if a road is not closed for safety, motorists should be vigilant to watch out for common dangers at this time of year, such as icy patches and black ice.

“Crews are out minimizing any potential hazards,” he said, “but at the end of day, you can’t beat decisions made in the driver’s seat. Stay aware of what’s going on with the road and your surroundings.”

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