West Side Flooding Repairs Update
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406-888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Sandry Construction of Bigfork / Kalispell and its subcontractor, Crux Subsurface of Spokane, WA, is completing storm damage repairs to the second of three winter work locations on or near Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun (Sun) Road, Park Superintendent Mick Holm reports.
“Bridge and road damage was sustained during the flooding of Upper McDonald Creek during the November 7-8, 2006, “Pineapple Express” storm. The access road and the bridge across Upper McDonald Creek at the head of Lake McDonald remain closed to all use until the work site is cleared of potential hazards, which is expected by March 9, 2007. At that time non-motorized winter access (cross country skiing and snowshoeing) will resume across the bridge and along the road to Kelly Camp,” said Holm. The bridge repairs could not begin until all required permits were signed and received from the State of Montana. Permits were received in mid-February and work began that day. Work has involved bridge stabilization through the boring and installation of micro-piles to replace damaged pilings and restoration of rip-rap at each abutment.
Sun Road repairs are completed at Red Rock Point. Repairs are still being negotiated at the third location (milepost 19.25 from West Glacier,) approximately three miles past Avalanche Creek. When work begins at milepost 19.25, plowing of one lane of the Going-to-the-Sun Road will again occur. Nevertheless, one lane will remain snow-covered for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Sandry Construction works Mondays through Fridays during daylight hours. For safety reasons, pedestrian access will be prohibited in the plowed lane during work hours. When work is not occurring, hikers and bicyclists can travel on the plowed lane. Signs will indicate when closures are in effect and caution should be exercised.
“The plowing of one lane was necessary to allow access to the Sun Road work sites and to stock pile materials for the repairs. Skiers and snowshoers are welcome to utilize the snow-covered lane but are asked to continue to abide by work zone restrictions,” stated Holm. He added, “West side winter motorized vehicle access is unaffected by the road work to the west side. Vehicles can travel 11.5 miles on the Sun Road from West Glacier to Lake McDonald Lodge.”
Did You Know?
If current trends continue, some scientists predict that by the year 2030, Glacier National Park will not contain any glaciers and many of the park's smaller glaciers will melt even sooner.