GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – Spring and summer construction on Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road is underway, and a maximum 30-minute traffic delay is in effect for the west side of the park this summer.
The road is in the final stretch of a decade-long deferred maintenance project.
The road is currently undergoing maintenance and repairs. In some areas it will be repaved over the next couple weeks and visitors should expect delays of up to 30 minutes.
“We’ve been doing a really significant rehabilitation of the Going to the Sun Road and we are just about done,” said Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley.
Visitors can expect to see some construction between the West Entrance Station and Avalanche Creek.
“Visitors will see some work going on, sort of in the Apgar area. When they drive through the West Entrance station there is a pilot car helping visitors work through that construction,” Alley said.
As crews repave the road between the West Entrance Station and the area east the Apgar Curve, traffic will detour through Apgar Village until they finish.
“We expect that that really significant paving work in the road is going to be completed by the beginning of June,” Alley said.
Some turnouts between Apgar and Avalanche Creek are also roped off and will be unavailable this season as work continues. They will be marked with traffic cones and drums.
“We have a few more things left to do but it’s been a very significant rehabilitation and we’re very thankful that we were able to get this deferred maintenance completed on the Going to the Sun Road,” said Alley.
This year, the park will be using its Twitter page to communicate live congestion updates throughout the season.
Glacier National Park welcomed 3.3 million visitors in 2017, marking a one-million-person increase over 2015 visitation levels.
Spring and summer construction on the Going-to-the-Sun Road has begun, including work that was previously anticipated for last fall but was rescheduled due to the Sprague Fire.
Crews will be working on paving and roadbed work between the West Entrance Station and the area east of the four-way intersection in Apgar known as the Apgar Curve.
Traffic will detour through Apgar Village while that work is completed. A pilot car is being used between the West Entrance Station and the four-way intersection at Apgar.
Crews have also begun work on a section of North McDonald Road between the Going-to-the-Sun Road and the bridge over McDonald Creek, including culvert installation and roadbed replacement. The work is expected to last until mid-May.
Trailhead access impacted by this temporary closure includes Trout Lake, McDonald Lakeshore, and McDonald Creek. These trails can be accessed from the Rocky Point Trailhead as an alternative.
Park officials say that at the end of May, North McDonald Road and associated trailhead access will again be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for two additional days while paving that section of the road. That work is tentatively planned for the week of May 21, weather permitting.
Reporting by Nicole Miller for MTN News