State Highway 64 Remains Closed Due to April’s Heavy Erosion, ITD Estimates Repairs to Cost $5 Million


KAMIAH, ID—The Idaho Transportation Department says that based on current assessments of damages, the cost estimate for repairing Highway 64 will be at least $5 million. The highway, located in Lewis County, runs between Nezperce and Kamiah and has been closed between mileposts 24 and 30 since a severe rainfall event on the night of April 14th caused a significant portion of it to become heavily eroded.

While the department expedites this emergency project, motorists are encouraged to use State Highway 162 as an alternative.

“ITD has been coordinating with many entities after April’s severe storm and the presidential disaster declaration is an important step forward for recovery efforts. Federal, state and county representatives are committed in rebuilding and restoring mobility for local communities in the affected areas,” ITD District 2 Information Officer Mark Pfeiffer says.

“Twelve specific locations were affected [with] the worst resulting in partial to complete loss of the roadway surface and foundation layer.  Culverts were plugged with debris causing further damage as the water was diverted over the road compounding the situation,” Pfeiffer adds.

“The 12 slide locations are being evaluated for repair,” Operations Engineer Jared Hopkins says.

Although the highway is closed to the public, Pfeiffer says ITD crews can move equipment through to conduct the repairs.

Repairs will include installing retaining walls, filling the base, and paving. The department has regularly met with a geotechnical engineering team to develop solutions.

“The way the slide eroded the embankment may prove challenging for how we go about repairing it. There are no clear anchor points we can leverage, so we are going to explore some designs back at the drawing board,” Geologist Garrett Speeter says.

Design work is underway, and ITD officials are working to put a contract out to bid within the next few weeks. Pfeiffer says construction is anticipated to be completed in the Fall.