Weeknight Going-to-the-Sun Road Traffic Delays Begin Next Week
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406-888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Now that rehabilitation work is underway on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) contractor HK Contractors, Inc. of Idaho Falls, ID, will add a second shift and begin night work starting Monday, August 13 at 10 pm. Park officials stress that starting next week four hour traffic delays will occur on weeknights (10 pm Sunday nights to 6 am Friday mornings) with a 15 minute work break at 2 am to allow traffic to pass through work zones. Nighttime traffic will be stopped below the west tunnel and at Big Bend, three miles west of Logan Pass.
HK Contractors, Inc. and subcontractors Anderson Masonry, Inc. of Bigfork are currently working approximately one mile above The Loop. Pilot cars and flaggers are used to escort traffic for a distance of 1.5 miles. During daytime work hours (6 am to 10 pm) traffic delays are kept to short stops for a total of no more than 30 minutes for a trip across the entire Sun Road.
Weeknight work will occur from 10 pm Sunday night to 6 am Friday morning. All traffic on the Sun Road will be stopped between 10 pm and 2 am and from 2:15 am to 6 am. Traffic will be allowed through the work zone between 2 am and 2:15 am. There will be no extended nighttime delays between 6 am Friday morning and 10 pm Sunday night. For their safety, travelers are encouraged to stay in their vehicles when stopped at work zones.
The following 2007 schedule is now in effect for the Sun Road:
U.S. Highway 2 between West Glacier and East Glacier is also an alternative nighttime travel route.
"This season’s road work marks the beginning of the multi-year (8-10 years) rehabilitation of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark," stated Park Superintendent Mick Holm. He added, "After years of comprehensive study, review by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Park Service (NPS) and the Going-to-the-Sun Road Citizen Advisory Committee, extensive public involvement and subsequent planning and design, the FHWA and NPS are now implementing the Sun Road rehabilitation. This road improvement work is combined with mitigation measures designed to help offset potential negative impacts caused by the road work and help reduce congestion on the Sun Road during the rehabilitation."
The Sun Road shuttle system began operation July 1, 2007, and by all measures appears to be very popular with near capacity use throughout July. Holm noted, "We have received substantial feedback about the (shuttle) system, mostly positive. This fall we will evaluate all user feedback and make adjustments where feasible."
"As a reminder to park visitors, Sun Road shuttle users need to recognize that shuttle buses are also affected by daytime work zones traffic delays. This means that short traffic delays near The Loop may affect the arrival of shuttles operating on the west side between the Apgar Transit Center and Logan Pass. During hours of operation, shuttle buses depart every 15 minutes from the Apgar Transit Center and every 30 minutes from St. Mary Visitor Center.
Anyone wishing to share their feedback about the new shuttle system is urged to send written comments by Internet or mail to John Kilpatrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Gary Danczyk (email@example.com) at Glacier National Park, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936.
The Sun Road is currently open for 24 hour travel weather permitting and short daytime delays and the weeknight delays. All other park roads are open; the Inside North Fork Road between Fish Creek and Logging Creek has been closed due to flood damage but is scheduled to open this weekend.
Visitors may obtain current information about the Sun Road project online at http://www.GTSRProject.com and http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/goingtothesunroad.htm or by calling 406-888-7800. Throughout Montana, Dial 511; select Option ‘5’ for Glacier National Park Tourist Information. Outside Montana and for other long-distance carriers, dial 800-226-7623. For tips on how to use the new Sun Road shuttle, visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/usingshuttle.htm .
Did You Know?
The "Backbone of the World" is the Blackfeet tribal name given to the greater Glacier National Park ecosystem.