Road work to begin May 27 on U.S. 20 north of Ashton

The Idaho Department of Transportation will begin reconstruction work on a three-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 20 north of Ashton later this month.

According to a Transportation Department news release, crews will reconstruct U.S. 20 between Dumpground Road and Sheep Falls Road on the Ashton Hill, removing pavement and 18 to 24 inches of road base. Crews also will install drain pipes and place new base and asphalt pavement. Work is set to begin May 27 and expected to be completed in October.

Motorists should expect significant delays, the release said. Truckers are advised to detour to Interstate 15 in Bozeman and Butte, Mont., and to I-15 in Idaho Falls, rather than proceed along U.S. 20 through Island Park.

Drivers should anticipate slowing and merging traffic, uneven surfaces, construction workers and equipment.

The reconstruction is designed to reduce groundwater buildup beneath the pavement. Without proper drainage, water expands and contracts during freeze-thaw cycles, damaging the structural integrity of the highway, the release said.

The Transportation Department awarded Idaho Falls-based HK Contractors Inc. the $6.46 million contract.