Forest Service to Repair 34 Mile Stretch on Historic Lolo Motorway
News Release | Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests
KAMIAH, Idaho (Aug. 14, 2020) – The historic Lolo Motorway CCC Road, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, will get much-needed repairs at locations along a 34-mile stretch located on the Lochsa Ranger District of the Nez Perce Clearwater National Forests. The contractor awarded the work plans to mobilize heavy equipment to the site the week of August 17th with full operations getting underway the week of August 24th. While no road closures are anticipated, recreationists should expect delays due to construction activities.
Under the Historic Routes project, the U.S. Forest Service, with funding assistance from an Idaho Parks and Recreation Road and Bridge Fund grant, plans to improve drivability for the average SUV driver while retaining the rugged nature of the road. This will be done by repairing severe storm water runoff damage to the road surface and ditch and reconditioning the driving surface on Forest Service Road 500. In select places, this will include using special machinery to crush the in-place rock/boulders to manufacture surface aggregate for the road. Existing drainage features such as culverts and drivable dips will be repaired/maintained, and new drivable dips and culverts will be installed to correct drainage problems.
The historic routes on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest are critical to the rural economies of northcentral Idaho communities. Since the repair of these historic roads began four years ago, 25.5 miles of the Elk City Wagon Road and 34 miles of the Magruder Corridor have been repaired, and this project performs work across 34 miles of Road 500 (Lolo Motorway CCC Road). Funding to accomplish additional road repair work on Road 500, to further improve public access and visitor experience, will be used to award Phase 2 of the project in the next few years.
U.S. Forest Service stewardship funds are also contributing funding to the planned drainage repairs for this project to accomplish watershed restoration objectives while supporting the local economy.