The Montana Department of Transportation reopened Interstate 90 between St. Regis and Lookout Pass on Tuesday afternoon, roughly 24 hours after closing it due to avalanche concerns.

The Idaho Department of Transportation also reopened the interstate across Lookout Pass, a spokesperson said Thursday.

MDT district administrator Ed Toavs headed to Lookout Pass early Tuesday to conduct a precautionary review and oversee cleanup resulting from several small slides over the past few days.

The review, he said, determined the highway was safe. However, he added, the area is still receiving rain and intermittent snow, and travelers should be prepared for winter driving conditions.

MDT first closed the westbound lanes of I-90 on Monday afternoon due to avalanche concerns. After dark, it also closed the eastbound lanes. Business at Big Sky Country Gifts and the St. Regis Travel Center was quiet as a result.

“There were a lot of semis in our extra parking lot and down at the Super 8,” said Kristie Hardebeck, manager of the gift shop. “We had a lot of people stop in and use the restroom, but we think business actually went down. We’re open.”

Toavs said Monday that as many as six smaller slides had covered portions of the interstate. The risk of a larger slide was high and officials spent much of Tuesday touring the highway and discussing their next move.

During the closure, traffic to and from Idaho was detoured off I-90 at St. Regis via Montana Highway 135 and Montana Highway 200.

​Reach the Missoulian newsroom at @missoulian, at or at (406) 523-5240

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