Posted: May 16, 2013 8:49 AM by Laura Wilson - MTN News
KALISPELL - Some more changes are coming to Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road this summer, and community members had the chance to find out exactly what they are on Wednesday night.
There's still a lot of the Going-to-the-Sun Road that's not open to the public, but people did get a sneak peak at what's going on behind the scenes during a meeting at the Flathead National Forest's Kalispell office.
"When they drive through a finished segment of the road, considering this rehabilitation that we're on, they think 'It's paved, and the stone masonry looks good.' But there's a lot more to it," explained Jack Gordon, the landscape architect for Glacier National Park.
Gordon, and Federal Highway Administration Resident Engineer Mike Baron, shared both images and information about the ongoing, extensive rehabilitation project.
The idea was to help people understand what they're looking at when they drive through the park, such as the underground drainage, the historic masonry that they're trying to preserve and the new masonry they're currently building.
The majority of the rehabilitation project has to be done during peak visitation months, because of the weather. Wednesday's presenters said that showing people the final finished product makes it a little easier for them to share the road with road construction.
Visitors will experience construction delays again this year, but in different areas than they did last season.
"This summer is going to be pretty interesting. We've been focused on the west side for so long-other than the segment between Logan Pass and Siyeh Bend on the east side," Gordon said.
"This year marks the end of the Alpine section being completed and then shifting to the east side, which has not seen road construction in a number of years," he added.
Traffic delays could take up to 20 minutes while construction is being done in the west and east side of the park, but could last as long as 40 minutes when the construction shifts entirely to the east side of the park.
The earliest visitors would be able to access all 50 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is June 21, but a final date for the opening hasn't been set yet.