KAMIAH, ID — One of the most culturally important, and historic, forest roads in our region is getting some badly-needed repairs.
The Lolo Motorway was constructed by the Civilian Conversation Corps in the 1930s, following the historic Nee-me-poo National Historic Trail the Nez Perce and other tribes used to cross the Bitterroot Mountains, and the path taken by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The trail is currently one of the most popular adventure routes in the Northern Rockies, drawing hundreds of off-road travelers and campers.
The road had been upgraded during the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, but since then has turned into a very rutted, and rocky course, punctuated with washouts.
But starting this week, Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest crews will be improving the Lolo Road so it can be driven again by someone in an "average SUV".
Crews will repair storm washouts, and filling rough sections by crushing rocks.
The work will move into full operation next week, with the US Forest Service saying no road closures are planned, although there could be delays.
The US Forest Service has been activity restoring some of the historic Bitterroot routes the past couple of years, acknowledging their economic importance.