National Park Service and Alaska Department of Transportation Assessing Road Damage and Planning for Repair
Contact: Kris Fister, 907-683-9583
DENALI PARK, Alaska:With the immediate mission to evacuate stranded visitors and employees completed, the National Park Service's task now turns to recovery, coordinating the work to repair the flood damage with the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), who has the jurisdictional responsibility for major repairs on that section of the Denali Park Road.
Erosion by the raging Friday and Eureka Creeks at the far western end of the 92-mile long Denali Park Road has left approximately one-half mile of damaged road. Park managers and DOT staff flew over the impacted sections this morning to assess the damage and began to formulate plans for the equipment and materials needed for the repair. National Park Service (NPS) road crews will focus on clearing debris from the portion of the road open to bus traffic and improve repairs done on Thursday. The DOT may begin moving heavy equipment into the park as early as Saturday evening, but the major repair work will not begin until the road dries out. It is estimated that it may be up to two weeks before normal operations can resume at the end of the road.
Park concessioner-operated buses are operating on their regular schedule as far as Wonder Lake. Buses that would have continued on to Kantishna can now travel as far as the north end of Wonder Lake before turning around.
This will be the last daily update until there is a significant change in road repair activity.
Did You Know?
Warmer temperatures have led to dramatic thawing of permafrost. Thaw releases carbon, as once-frozen materials decompose, but allows increased plant growth. Researchers in Denali are studying whether thawing permafrost will increase or decrease world-wide carbon emissions.