AN IMPORTANT UPDATE ON STIBNITE ROAD

AN IMPORTANT UPDATE ON STIBNITE ROAD

UPDATE: June 11, 2019

The Valley County Road Superintendent received the final permit needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start work on the last section of the washed-out road late last week. By Tuesday morning, Stibnite Road was once again passable with vehicles. This is the first time this has happened since the avalanche first occurred in April.

Construction in the area is still ongoing. OK Gravel’s work on the road will not be complete for at least another week.

UPDATE: May 17, 2019

Unfortunately, vehicle travel along Stibnite Road is likely still a few weeks out. However, we are encouraged by the progress the contractor for Valley County, OK Gravel, has made in clearing about 75% of the avalanche. Melt conditions have also been favorable and most of the snow has melted from the avalanche. Once crews are able to clear the slide entirely, they will begin re-building the road base back up. Timing for road surfacing is contingent upon when Valley County can start crushing material from the Yellow Pine quarry this summer and we anticipate a final gravel cap will be added to the road in mid-to-late summer.

The following photos, taken from the same location over the last few weeks, show the progress.

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May 3, 2019

In early April, an overnight avalanche, followed by multiple landslides, caused extensive damage to Stibnite Road and forced its temporary closure. The slide pushed snow, timber and other debris into the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River and up unto Stibnite Road. In places, the slide was close to 100 feet high.

Almost a month later, over a half mile stretch of the road is still impassable but repair work is underway. We want the community to know you have our full commitment to help get the road open as soon as possible.

Local contractor, OK Gravel is currently addressing high priority sections of the road to limit further damage that may occur from spring runoff conditions. This work includes repairing two main areas of Stibnite Road directly above and below Tamarack Creek, where some sections of the road have been washed away. They have already made great progress. They have stabilized two sections of the road to prevent further damage and below the main slide they created a berm to prevent the river from flowing onto the road. Next, Ok Gravel will start to work on filling in the section of the road that was washed away by the river in the area leading up to the main avalanche.

The current work is overseen and funded by Valley County in coordination with state and federal officials. Valley County has maintenance jurisdiction over the road.

The photos below show what the road looked like shortly after the avalanche and what it looks like now, from a similar location, just a few weeks later. 

 

This immediate action does not address the half mile stretch of the Stibnite Road currently washed away and sitting underneath the mess left by the largest of the four avalanches. As OK Gravel works their way up from the lower section of the road between the slide and Yellow Pine, Midas Gold has begun to address portions of the slide closest to the Stibnite Gold Project site. 

Stibnite Road (Forest Highway 48 – FS Road #50412), which runs between the Village of Yellow Pine and the historical Stibnite mining district, is the only road leading into site. Our team is still making regular visits to site to perform maintenance and other tasks as needed. However, our employees currently have to hike around the disturbed sections of the road to get to site. Don’t worry, we’ve established a safe path for them to traverse!

While progress is being made, it is likely that the road will remain undriveable and closed through the spring. Everyone’s top priority is to stabilize the area, then re-establish safe passage along Stibnite Road in an environmentally responsible manner. 

Road conditions can change quickly this time of year. Please keep an eye on the roads and stay safe while traveling throughout the region.