Lightning Creek flood damage to be repaired

By Reader Staff

The Western Federal Lands Highway Division  is prepared to award the contract to repair the Lightning Creek flood damages in May. The repair work is expected to begin at the end of May, depending on weather and site conditions. The repairs are projected to be completed before the 2018 winter season.

A washout along Lightning Creek Road as photographed in May 2016. Photo courtesy USFS.

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests experienced a rain on snow event in December 2015, leading to flood damage in several drainages, including significant damage to Lightning Creek Road (FSR #419). The forest implemented a closure on Lightning Creek Road, between milepost 7.5 to the junction of FSR #275 at milepost 18, for public safety. The damages include the loss of four large concrete box culverts, three segments of road washouts and bridge damage. The bridge over Rattle Creek was destroyed, and the Wellington Bridge over Lightning Creek was damaged. The estimated cost of repairs in the Lightning Creek drainage is approximately $1.74 million.

The Idaho Panhandle National Forests requested Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads Program funding from the WFLHD in January 2016 following these events. During the spring and summer of 2016, WFLHD completed damage survey reports, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process was completed in February.

The Forest continues assessing any additional damages caused by heavy rains or run off this spring. The Lightning Creek Road closure will remain in effect until the repairs are completed. For more information, please contact the Sandpoint Ranger District at (208) 263-5111.

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