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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Default Thanks for nothing, Idaho

In early June a friend and I met in Utah, rode through Yellowstone, Beartooth Pass, down through Idaho via Salmon, Stanley, down through Boise, up to McCall and on to Lewiston. Outside of Lewiston we were on Hwy 12 when we saw the dreaded road construction sign. By the time we could digest the stated dates of said construction, it was too late. We were trapped on a 2 lane highway with no reasonable escape. This went on for what seemed like 10 miles of piled up loose gravel, traffic in both directions, trying to steer to the areas where car tracks had thinned the mounds of gravel. Towards the end, like the last half mile or so, the gravel became fresh tar, soft and gooey mixed with rock chips. They grabbed on to our wheels like a snowball rolling downhill and rattled around in the fenders until they found our belts and sprockets causing $1000 damage to each bike. I called Idaho DOT, who said I had to pursue a claim with the contractor, Knife River Const. They passed it off to Liberty Mutual Insurance, Where it seems to have hit a dead end. I can't afford to add $1000 to every trip I take, so is it unreasonable for me to think that our bikes shouldn't subjected to that? Anyone know how to get someone to take notice of our claim?


The chip seal projects in our state block off the lane being worked on and only open it after it's been rolled and swept. Idaho apparently feels it's acceptable to let the vehicle traffic serve as the heavy equipment. Our dealer that did the repairs said gravel was everywhere.... fenders, discs, primary belt cover. He said he had enough gravel to open a gravel pit.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 06:23 AM
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That really sucks!

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 07:54 AM
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Unfortunately it's construction season up here and it's one of those things we have to deal with. I'm not sayin' it's right, it's just one of those things and I understand why you'd be pissed. Stay after the insurance company and DON'T go away. If they continue to blow you off you might investigate filing a small claims suit, it will be much less expensive to pay you the 1k than defending the suit in court.

A couple of years ago the wife and I were heading to Chico Hot Springs near Livingston MT and decided to cut through the park (Yellowstone) on the way up. Of course they were doing road construction and laying down chip seal. The problem was that they were spraying the "tac" down before they layed the chips and the construction company had us riding on the fresh oil. It was like riding on ice!! After four miles of sliding all over the place we finally got out of it covered in the goo but still somewhat shiny side up. There wasn't any damage but I wonder how many bikes went down in that crap and who's bright idea it was to allow traffic to drive over the stuff.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 01:52 PM
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As a matter of fact, we DO let traffic serve as heavy equipment. Rarely, however, does anyone experience issues as severe as yours. I've ridden and driven through many thousands of miles of loose chip seal without issue. It's certainly no fun, but if you take a road trip through Idaho in summer and it's more than 150 miles, you're gonna hit construction.

A few years back (probably closer to 10 years now), a paving company half-assed a long stretch of US 93 north of Twin Falls and it resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in claims from the same kind of damage you described. Like Joe said, you stay after that insurance company. They'll brush you off if they think they can. See if you can get YOUR insurance company after them perhaps.

My worst experience was on US95 south of Grangeville, riding through that pass (OP, you likely rode it too if you headed north out of McCall). They were redoing the whole highway and the wife and I had to ride through loose, sloppy gravel for about 9 miles. Pretty horrible.

ITD seems to subcontract quite a lot of its highway projects. I don't know why. I routinely curse them myself. But it's all worth it in the end. Idaho is a pretty awesome place for motorcycling. MOST of the time.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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I agree that Idaho is awesome for riding. That stretch of hwy 21 from Lowman to Beaver Creek has got to be one of the best anywhere.

I, too have ridden through many miles of road construction without incident, but it was late afternoon and I think the crew was hurrying up the process and throwing down excessive material. My boots had a layer of rocks stuck to them that I had to scrape off on the side of my floorboard in order to set my feet down. They had us following the dump truck that was putting the gunk down. No setup time, just right through the wet stuff.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 07:28 PM
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Best bet, turn it in to your insurance. They will pursue the companies insurance.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrp267 View Post
Best bet, turn it in to your insurance. They will pursue the companies insurance.
+1 on the above. Plus also contact your local ABATE chapter as they may have some additional information on who to contact. If you don't belong to ABATE, please consider joining to help others help people just like you.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mtsiview View Post
I agree that Idaho is awesome for riding. That stretch of hwy 21 from Lowman to Beaver Creek has got to be one of the best anywhere.

I, too have ridden through many miles of road construction without incident, but it was late afternoon and I think the crew was hurrying up the process and throwing down excessive material. My boots had a layer of rocks stuck to them that I had to scrape off on the side of my floorboard in order to set my feet down. They had us following the dump truck that was putting the gunk down. No setup time, just right through the wet stuff.
That sucks. They should not have had you right behind the truck. I don't like following a dump truck when they are hauling, much less dumping.
Keep an eye on your boot bottoms. I had the oil eat holes in my boots years ago. They were disposing of toxic waste by mixing it in the oil. I think that are still doing this practice today.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 11:29 PM
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Luciferiad

Is there a web site that tells where in Idaho they are doing road construction?

In Oregon we have Tripcheck.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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I agree that Idaho is awesome for riding. That stretch of hwy 21 from Lowman to Beaver Creek has got to be one of the best anywhere.
I've enjoyed ID Hwy 21 a number of times. Great bit of road, altho it can get a little iffy just south of Lowman, road-condition wise. Beautiful views though!

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I, too have ridden through many miles of road construction without incident, but it was late afternoon and I think the crew was hurrying up the process and throwing down excessive material. My boots had a layer of rocks stuck to them that I had to scrape off on the side of my floorboard in order to set my feet down. They had us following the dump truck that was putting the gunk down. No setup time, just right through the wet stuff.
I've never had that pleasure myself. It's not the first time I've heard of it, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Much of how ITD handles road construction seems to involve making it last as long as possible. They've been screwing around and "improving" the US93/I-84 interchange for 10 years. They frequently will repave a road, leave it unpainted for a week, then paint new lines and leave those for a week before chipsealing it which forces them to paint the road AGAIN. The paving companies they hire are frequently sloppy and the state agency doesn't seem to be much better. I only have 2 gripes living in ID: the way road construction is handled, and the fact I gotta get to the liquor store before 7 PM (6 on Sunday) if I want something other than beer.

AZ is the only other state I've spent significant time in, and ADOT runs like a fast, well-oiled machine. Some locals might disagree, but I find the highways here to be in very nice condition and even major construction projects seem to be completed very rapidly.

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Luciferiad

Is there a web site that tells where in Idaho they are doing road construction?

In Oregon we have Tripcheck.
I've used tripcheck! In ID we have 511.idaho.gov

I've found it to be reasonably accurate. Course, it won't tell you whether the paving subcontractor sucks or not

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