Glacier National Park’s continued road improvement projects will resume later this year, closing the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road for about two weeks in September.
According to information from the park, the $9 million project will focus on both the east and west sides of the Sun Road, Chief Mountain Road, the west portion of the Camas Road, Apgar Village Loop, the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn Loop and Parking Area, and other minor areas.
Pavement preservation will impact spring hiker and biker access and restrictions will likely be in place on both sides of the pass between Avalanche and Rising Sun. Going-to-the-Sun Road will not open to Logan Pass before June 21 this year, and in 2020, the road will not open before June 22 if necessary in order to complete pavement preservation activities. Road and snow conditions vary from year to year, and these dates should not be relied upon to anticipate the actual road opening date. Weather and plowing conditions typically allow for a road opening to Logan Pass sometime between mid-June and mid-July.
In the fall of 2019, night work for pavement preservation is planned to begin on Sept. 2 on the Going-to-the-Sun Road with traffic control and intermittent night closures. A full closure will likely be in place from Sept. 16-29 between Avalanche and Logan Pass.
Logan Pass will remain accessible from the St. Mary Entrance during this time period. Traffic control will be in place at Logan Pass so pavement preservation can occur in the Logan Pass parking lot. The road is anticipated to reopen in its entirety on Sept. 30, 2019 before its routine winter closure scheduled for Oct. 21, depending on the weather.
Some park roads including the Sun Road will receive a protective coating similar to a chip seal to extend the life of the road surfaces. Pavement preservation requires warm temperatures and dry conditions.
Typically, pavement preservation is recommended every seven years.
The treatment will protect the $200 million investment in the Going-to-the-Sun Road, including preserving significant roadbed and pavement work that was undertaken during the Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation project over the last decade.
The park worked with the Federal Highway Administration to select a pavement preservation material that would be compatible with multiple road uses, including bicycle access.
In 2020, the park in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration will award a contract to finalize the multi-year rehabilitation work on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Final work includes repairs to some masonry features, additional log rail replacement, and sign improvements.
Pavement preservation will not occur on most of the Many Glacier Road. That road is undergoing evaluation to determine the effectiveness of a new drainage system before long term improvements are attempted.
The road is in poor condition. However, last year with a donation from the Glacier National Park Conservancy the park purchased a durapatcher that was able to temporarily repair some of the most significantly damaged areas.