UPDATE: Highway 55 reopens after mudslide

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BANKS, Idaho (CBS 2) — An 18-mile stretch of Highway 55 was closed for part of the day Wednesday because of an "active" landslide.

The Idaho Transportation Department reopened the stretch of road between Smiths Ferry and Banks Wednesday afternoon. According to an update on the agency's Facebook page, crews could close the stretch of road in the coming days for further cleanup. Motorists are advised to check the department's 511 website for the lastest information.

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, the closure extended from Garden Valley Road near Banks to Smiths Ferry Drive in Smiths Ferry (about 14 miles south of Cascade).

The landslide fell on Idaho Highway 55 Tuesday morning near Smiths Ferry, blocking the highway. An initial survey estimated nearly 15 feet of rock, mud, and debris is covering the road.

Twelve ITD trucks operating with a front-end loader and an excavator worked to clear debris Tuesday morning until sundown, said Jake Melder ITD spokesman.

Because the landslide was considered active, safety of the work crews is top priority, he said.

"We will work with the same level of activity today," Melder said on Wednesday.

The hope was to have one lane open by Wednesday afternoon sometime, he said, encouraging motorists to check the status via 511.

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