Opening Roads 

Anyone who has spent any time living in mountain towns knows there are no guarantees when it comes to getting from point A to point B and back again in the winter.

But the residents of Stanley will have a far easier time this year thanks to a series of new avalanche mitigation measures being implemented along Highway 21.

According to the Idaho Mountain Express, the Idaho Transportation Department has agreed to spend roughly $200,000 per year to help cut down on the number of days the road between Lowman and Stanley is closed due to avalanches or avalanche danger.

ITD has already spent nearly $1 million to get the program off the ground, including purchasing equipment and paying for avalanche consultants, from Canada, eh?

So, what's the secret weapon for keeping roads safe from rampaging snow? Explosions.

The department will use explosive charges shot from gas-compressed avalaunchers, dropped from helicopters or thrown by hand to release potential slides under controlled conditions.

By keeping the road open, community leaders hope to create a more stable year-round economy for the area by bringing in more winter visitors.

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