Monday, May 20, 2013

Narrows Project Phase 1 ends

The $1.4-million Narrows Rock Scaling Project Phase 1 near Milepost 206 on Idaho Highway 75 began April 1 and will be finished this week.  Actual scaling activities ended last week.  Project contractor DEBCO continues work this week hauling off debris and securing the site.  The twice daily two-hour closures also ended in time for Memorial Day weekend. Some photos and a video of Phase 1 are below.

Phase 2 of The Narrows project begins on or about June 1 and will continue until August 2015. Contractor for this $9.9-million project will be Knife River Corporation, NW, Boise.  Phase 2 involves netting the steep rock cliff face through The Narrows, as well as building barriers to keep errant rocks from the roadway.

Until September 15th during Phase 2, drivers can expect 15-minute delays during weekday working hours.  Automated traffic lights will manage a alternating five-minute cycle for motorists at other times.

"The Challis Messenger" plans to print a correction in the May 23rd issue regarding a report last week that the two-hour delays would continue in Phase 2.  Both the newspaper Editor and a spokesman for the US Department of Transportation have confirmed that the regular twice-daily, two-hour delays will not be a part of Phase 2 during the busy summer season.  However, the two-hour delays will return September 15th.

The two-hour delays ended last week. Fifteen minute delays began May 16 and will continue through September 15. Two-hour delays are allowed 10:00 am - 12:00 noon and 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm Monday through Friday, September 15 through May 15.

Below is a 1:42 video of a drive through The Narrow Rock Scaling Project recorded on May 8th.  Photos of the project shown below were also taken that day.

 If the embedded video doesn't show up--here is the link:

We were lucky on May 8th to be stopped at the head of the waiting line.
If you look closely into the river canyon, you can see the Warm Creek confluence.
 Ten human rock scalers accomplished the bulk for the hazard removal activities.
 Phase1 contractor DEBCO also utilized some mechanical scaling equipment.
 We were very happy to be delayed and at the front of the line!
Watching human rock scalers in action is a rare and dramatic sight.
Material removed from The Narrows cliff face was trucked to an area downriver near Holman Creek.
The material will be use in various other highway projects including possible river bank stabilization projects.

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