DOT looks to reduce rock fall from Nenana River Canyon onto highway

The State Department of Transportation is taking action to reduce rock fall on the Parks Highway through the Nenana River Canyon, near Denali National Park. DOT northern region spokeswoman Meadow Bailey said the area has long posed a safety threat.

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Logo for Alaska Department of Transportation
Logo for Alaska Department of Transportation

“We ask drivers not to stop in that area. We do have reports of rocks hitting cars, never with significant injury, but enough that it is concerning,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the issue has been pressed by a planned road reconstruction project that requires heavy equipment use.

“So we had a geo-technical expert come in and look at the slope and they identified eleven areas that are of concern to them and five that are pretty unstable,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the state has hired a crew to specifically address the dangerous rock fall areas this summer and fall.

“Rappellers are going to come off of the top of the rock face, and they are going to manually remove the loose rocks,” Bailey said. “We are going to do that work through the middle of September, and then we are going to rely on blasting to remove the rock from some of the larger areas.”

The Parks Highway Nenana Canyon work will be happening at night. Bailey added that safety barricades will be in place to limit risk to passing vehicles.