Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation project nearly complete, officials say

Posted at 12:11 PM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 21:45:05-04
Glacier National Park officials say the Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation project is nearly finished. (MTN News file photo)


GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — Officials at Glacier National Park are celebrating the near completion of a 12-year-long, $160 million rehabilitation effort to repair and restore one of the park’s most renowned features: Going-to-the-Sun Road.

In a press release obtained by MTN News Monday morning, park representatives said the Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation project, which began in 2007, has practically reached fruition. With the exception of one remaining “clean-up” contract slated for the summer of 2020, as stated in the release, to “repair any features that have undergone wear and tear since the rehabilitation began,” the restorative effort is mostly finished.

As many as 4,500 visitors traverse Going-to-the-Sun Road during the park’s peak season from June through October, and the roadway stretches over 50 miles. Logan Pass, the route’s highest point in terms of elevation, sits at 6,646 feet above sea level.

Snow plowing crews finally reached Logan Pass in late May, a major milestone in this year’s arduous plowing process. Snow plows were first on the move in early April this year, and the process was initially expected to last three months. Roads slowly opened up to visitors as the process took its course; to date, 29 miles of the route are open, excluding the section between Avalanche and Jackson Glacier Overlook.

The only other closed roadway is Inside North Fork at Logging Creek and Fish Creek, the park’s website states.

The scenic mountain road past Lake McDonald Lodge has long been hailed as a staple of Treasure State tourism. According to the release, Going-to-the-Sun is described by many as “the most beautiful piece of mountain road in the world.”

“The road is not just a way to travel, it’s a destination itself,” said Mike Traffalis, Federal Highway Administration project manager, in the statement.

Park officials have also announced an upcoming celebration of the landmark’s restoration. The festivities are scheduled for Thursday, June 27, at 10 a.m. at the Sun Point Day Use Area on Going-to-the-Sun Road East. The event will be conducted by the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service, according to the release. Jeff Mow, the park’s superintendent, will conduct the ceremony.

For up-to-date information on how to plan a visit to Glacier National Park and conditions on and around Going-to-the-Sun Road, visit the park’s website here.