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Flaggers to help traffic flow on Idaho 55/Banks-Lowman junction over Labor Day holiday

Photo: Image by Idaho Transportation Department

Flaggers to help traffic flow on Idaho 55/Banks-Lowman junction over Labor Day holiday

By On Your Side Newsroom. CREATED Aug 27, 2014

As they do every year, Idaho Transportation Department flaggers will again help with traffic flow through the Idaho 55 junction at the Banks-to-Lowman Wildlife Canyon Scenic Byway over the Labor Day weekend, according to ITD spokesman Reed Hollinshead.

Flaggers will be used Monday, September 1st, starting at 10 a.m. to help move traffic smoothly as travelers return using the Banks-Lowman highway or move south on Idaho 55 toward Boise. Flaggers will remain in place until 7 p.m.-- or earlier, if traffic on the Banks-Lowman highway can safely enter Idaho 55 without aid.

Since 1995, ITD has assisted motorists over the longer Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends at the heavily-traveled junction.

"Congestion is heaviest in this area, as travelers from the Garden Valley area access Idaho 55," ITD Maintenance Engineer Michael Garz said. "We want everyone to have a safe and fun trip."

During holiday weekends, significantly more vehicles travel on those roads as compared to the average day.

“About three times as much traffic travels on Idaho 55 than on the Banks-to-Lowman highway, so the flaggers maintain that same 3-to-1 ratio in terms of traffic delays: 30-minute delays on the Banks-to-Lowman highway and 10 minutes on Idaho 55,” Hollinshead said,

The Transportation Department offers these tips for holiday weekend travelers:

-- Congestion is usually heaviest on the last afternoon of the holiday weekend, from 3 pm to 6 p.m. Consider returning from your trip before or after that time to avoid the rush.

-- Consider using an alternate route. To use U.S. 95, travel north on Idaho 55 from McCall, take U.S. 95 south and use Interstate 84 to return to the Treasure Valley. This route may take less time than using Idaho 55 on a congested day. Recreationists leaving the Garden Valley area might consider using Idaho 21 to return to the Treasure Valley.

-- If you choose to use Idaho 55 when congestion is heaviest, be patient and plan an extra hour or two for your return trip.