The Idaho Transportation Department will reopen the Snake River rest area on Interstate 84 near the Oregon border Wednesday with limited services to accommodate peak summer traffic.
The rest area has been closed since last fall after a critical failure of the building's septic system, according to ITD. The drain field became fully saturated and was not properly draining waste water. The department closed the rest area while it investigated the problem and developed a plan to fix the sewage issue.
The restrooms will remain closed during the summer months. The department has placed portable toilets at the rest area.
“The Snake River Viewpoint is a very popular rest area,” John Hall, maintenance coordinator for ITD’s Southwest Idaho office, said in an ITD press release Tuesday. “Finding a solution to the sewage issue has been crucial for us and required a lot of investigating and engineering analysis. While we put together the details for a full fix, making a way to get the rest area open during the peak summer season has been a top priority. Though less than ideal, this temporary measure will allow us to restore critical services to the traveling public.”
The department will be cleaning and sanitizing the rest area multiple times per day.
ITD plans to tie into the municipal sewage treatment system of nearby Fruitland. This will require new pipe and pump stations to be constructed adjacent to I-84. The department is designing this project and plans to begin construction this fall. The rest area will be closed during construction. The anticipated completion of construction and reopening of the rest area with full service is spring 2021.