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Rock Scaling Begins Next Week on White Bird Grade

GRANGEVILLE — Rock scaling will begin Tuesday, September 20, at the top of White Bird Grade to stabilize the slope above U.S. Highway 95. Work over the next several weeks will intermittently affect the highway.

Scaling involves knocking down loose debris proactively, with rocks falling from the hillside down to the road. Specialized equipment will excavate rock at the top and flatten the slope.

“At least for the first day, we’ll have flaggers there to stop all traffic for 20 minutes at a time while workers are scaling,” Operations Engineer Jared Hopkins said.

Work is scheduled Monday through Saturday, with construction starting each day at daybreak.

“As work continues, we may allow traffic to flow without being stopped during work if it is safe to do so,” Hopkins said.

Metal containers that have been shielding drivers since the rockslide in May at this location will be shifted back on to the highway. The passing lanes will be closed earlier, forcing drivers to merge sooner. When crews are not on site, traffic will flow freely over the hill with one lane in each direction.