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Contact: Eileen Andes, 701-623-4466
MEDORA, ND: Federal Highways Administration Engineers are assessing damage to the North Unit Scenic Drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This week's rain caused a drainage culvert to fail and a large section of the Scenic Road was undercut by the resulting erosion. The road has been closed* at the Caprock Coolee parking area closure gate until further notice to ensure visitor safety.
Park managers will reevaluate opening the road to pedestrian, bike, and/or vehicle use as soon as possible. "Roads in the badlands are a constant challenge to maintain because of the unpredictable soils and dynamic forces," said Acting Superintendent Wendy Ross. "My first priority is visitor safety and we will open the road when the damage has been repaired or the danger has been mitigated."
Additionally, erosion has also damaged the Coal Vein Trail access road in the South Unit. This road will also remain closed until it is repaired. Visitors to the South Unit can still drive the entire South Unit Loop Road.
For current road conditions, please call 701-623-4730 x1417 during business hours and on weekends. Updated information is also available on the park's website at www.nps.gov/thro.
*Update on 16 June 2015: The North Unit road is now open. Near the Caprock Coulee Parking Area a short, 30-foot section is reduced to one lane. Please use caution through this area. The scenic drive is open to Oxbow Overlook (the end of the drive).