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Highway 20 construction begins in Ashton

Construction on a 3-mile stretch of U.S. 20 north of Ashton began Tuesday.

The $6.46 million project will remove pavement and 18-24 inches of road base between Dumpground Road and Sheep Falls Road. The crews will also install drain pipes and place new base and asphalt pavement.

Bruce King, with the Idaho Transportation Department, said the drain pipes should be a huge help long-term.

“Without sufficient drainage water expands and contracts during the freeze/thaw cycles, damaging the structural integrity of the highway,” said King.

Daniel Baker drives the stretch of Highway 20 twice a week on his hauls to Canada. He said even though it will slow him down, it’s about time the road is fixed.”

“It’s great they’re finally fixing the road,” said Baker. “The road is all tore up and full of chuckholes.”

The project is scheduled for completion in October, but King said tourists and locals hoping to go to Island Park and Yellowstone National Park will only experience delays Mondays-Thursdays.

“If motorists desire to take U.S. 20, then they might consider traveling at night or on the weekends when construction crews will not be present,” said King. “The speed limit will simply be reduced.”

Truckers are encouraged to detour to Interstate 15 in Bozeman and Butte, Montana, and to I-15 in Idaho Falls, rather than proceed along U.S. 20 through Ashton.

The transportation department awarded HK Contractors Inc., of Idaho Falls, the contract.

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