West Glacier, MT – A new culvert construction project is scheduled for this fall along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, four miles up Lake McDonald. Fire conditions permitting, the Going-to-the-Sun Road will be temporarily closed from Apgar Loop Road at the foot of Lake McDonald to Avalanche from October 15-19, 2018. Access to Apgar Village and the Apgar Visitor Center will still be available during the week. The closure is timed to coincide with the third Monday of October, the day the Going-to-the-Sun Road typically closes in the alpine section for the winter.
Hiker-biker access between October 15 and 19 is not anticipated. Administrative and local resident traffic will be permitted from 7:00 am-7:30 am, from 3:30 pm-4:00 pm, and after 6:00 pm daily during construction.
Last year the park undertook a significant culvert replacement initiative at the same location, successfully installing two large culverts. However, drainage is not behaving as anticipated, and the park is installing a third large culvert to continue to address this frequent flooding issue on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
On October 20, access to Avalanche will once again reopen, fire conditions permitting, and will remain open until the gate closes at Lake McDonald Lodge for the winter on or before December 15. Hiker-biker access will resume above the Avalanche gate on October 20. Standard hiker-biker restrictions will be in place as road winterizing procedures begin to ensure pedestrian and work crew safety.
October 14 will be the last day that visitors are able to drive to Logan Pass from both the east and west side as the park road crew begins to winterize the road, including removing log barriers to protect them from avalanche hazards, removing directional signs, and installing snow poles.
This project is a part of the larger rehabilitation efforts along the Going-to-the-Sun Road in partnership with the Federal Highways Administration. Other road rehabilitation projects underway in 2018 include slump improvements on the Many Glacier Road, road grading/gravel replacement on Bowman Lake Road, and Avalanche Campground Road, which will be closed for approximately two weeks beginning September 17 for repairs, fire conditions permitting.
In the fall, construction on the roads in front of the Many Glacier Hotel and the upper parking lot will begin. This is part of the larger rehabilitation project for the section of the Many Glacier Road from Babb, MT, to the park boundary, and from the Many Glacier entrance station into the Many Glacier Valley.
The St. Mary Entrance Station will also undergo additional changes this fall and into the spring following its construction last year to extend the building height for oversized vehicles. No significant traffic delays are expected with that work.
Looking ahead to 2019, the park expects to undertake a significant routine pavement preservation project. Pavement preservation lays layers of a protective coating over the road, extending the life of the pavement substantially. The preservation work includes the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road, Chief Mountain Road, a portion of the Camas Road, Apgar Village Loop, and other minor areas. The work requires dry and moderately warm conditions to cure. The park expects some Going-to-the-Sun Road closures related to this work. Further details about pavement preservation in 2019 will be released this winter.
The park will also repair portions of the Inside North Fork Road. The Anaconda area in need of substantial repair will not be addressed within the scope of this more minor repair. However, construction will occur at “Lover’s Leap” and Logging Creek. When completed, visitors will be able to drive the Inside North Fork Road to just north of Anaconda Creek from the Polebridge Entrance, and the Dutch Creek Trailhead from the Fish Creek Entrance. Note that the Inside North Fork Road is not the main “North Fork Road” that provides access to Polebridge and other neighboring communities.
Funding dependent, sections of Camas Road may also undergo rehabilitation. Additional details will be available in 2019 if this project is scheduled.
Current information about park roads, weather conditions, and visitor services can be found by visiting Glacier National Park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/glac/ or by calling park headquarters at 406-888-7800.
Please note that as of the writing of this press release, the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road has been temporarily closed due to Howe Ridge Fire activity adjacent to the Going-to-the-Sun Road.