Massive Landslide Covers Stretch Of Denali Park Road

A massive landslide has blocked the Denali Park Road near mile 37.

Crews are already working to clear the road, but they aren’t likely to finish the job until next spring.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.
Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

A 200-foot long section of the road approaching Sable Pass is covered by soil, reaching depths of up to 35 feet.

Denali Park Public Affairs Officer Kris Fister says this is the largest landslide in recent memory at the park.

“Both our road crew supervisors have been here for 30 years and the only thing they can remember that’s even close is a landslide that was around the Polychrome area in the late 80s – I think it was 1989 – and they said was maybe was more of the road involved, but not nearly as much debris,” she said.

Crews have already begun staging personnel and equipment in the area to start clearing the road. Fister says they are planning on working seven-days-a-week until winter sets in.

“We’ve got mild weather conditions; things aren’t frozen yet, so we are going to do as much work as we can while we have these favorable conditions,” she said.

Fister says the road won’t be fully cleared until the spring, because it’s such a huge undertaking.

Though the road is closed to driving past mile 30, Fister urges hikers and bikers in the area to avoid the work zone.

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Josh is the web producer for alaskapublic.org.

He has been a part of the web team since his internship during the summer of 2010.

Besides maintaining the website, he also reports for the Alaska Public Radio Network, gives occasional live news updates on KSKA 91.1FM during All Things Considered, runs camera and directs programs for Alaska Public Television, and has taken numerous photos and videos that appear on alaskapublic.org.

Prior to graduating from the Journalism and Public Communications Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage in December 2010, Josh worked at The Northern Light student newspaper where he and his staff won two Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Awards.

He has also been an adjunct instructor for the JPC department at UAA.

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Josh enjoys being outdoors, so when isn’t at work, you can usually find him out fishing, camping, hunting, four-wheeling, or snowmachining.

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