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Contact: Kathleen Kelly, (907) 683-9504
The Denali Park Road will remain closed, with scheduled twice daily openings, at Mile 67, just west of Eielson Visitor Center, for at least a few more days to give some of the road repairs necessitated by last week’s mudslide a chance to stabilize, to prepare for additional rain forecasted for this weekend and to safeguard visitor and staff safety.
Shuttle bus and tour traffic will be allowed through the closure daily at 8 am and 6 pm.
The location of the mudslide, approximately one mile west of the visitor center, means few travelers should be affected by the continued closure; only those traveling to Wonder Lake Campground or staying at the private lodges in the historic former mining district of Kantishna will be impacted.
In addition, large vehicles with tandem trailers will be unable to pass because the mudslide caused road damage that narrowed the turning radius on the curve.
Park managers hope more normal operations can resume Tuesday, August 9.
Clean-up efforts are ongoing and so far approximately 8,000 cubic yards of material have been removed from the site; however, there is additional material in the chute above the slide which increases the potential for another event, and that probability will amplify if more rain falls on the already saturated soils.
The original slide, which occurred last Saturday, was approximately 100 feet wide and 10 feet deep.
Eielson Visitor experienced heavy rains throughout July and recorded 16.5 inches of precipitation. The soggy weather pattern is continuing into August.
Limited access will continue until the current weather pattern changes and the road is allowed to dry out.