Highway 57 work starts on Monday

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PRIEST RIVER — Motorists can expect delays as the Idaho Transportation Department commences work to repair and reconstruct a section of Highway 57 struck by slides in 2017.

The work is scheduled to begin on Monday and is expected to last about a month.

Work on the west side of the highway will involve excavating material and constructing a rock inlay to help stabilize the slope, according to Megan Sausser, ITD’s District 1 spokeswoman. The east side of the route will see the installation of gabion baskets — mesh baskets filled with rocks — for stabilization purposes.

“The highway will also be reconstructed,” said Sausser.

During the repair work, the highway will be reduced to one lane with a temporary signal present to guide alternating traffic. Earthworks Northwest is the lead contractor on the $540,000 project, according to Sausser.

The state will also be repaving seven miles of Highway 41 between Oldtown and Blanchard, a project that’s set to start in July and wrap up in August. Crews with a pilot car will be on site during the day in order to lead vehicles through the construction zone. Both lanes will remain open at night, according to ITD.

The state is also moving up replacement of the Strong Creek Bridge on Highway 200’s business route. Work on replacing the bridge, which was constructed in 1924, was initially slated for 2020, although it was advanced to February.

The work will require the complete closure of the bridge and there is guarantee of pedestrian access while the work is underway, ITD said. The work will also replace a wooden sidewalk across the bridge with a concrete one.

Severe crashes on the span resulted in a wider driving surface and new support structures in 1974.

The bridge replacement project is slated for completion in June.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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