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Snow plow crews are making progress on Going To The Sun Road

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 19:06:19-04

Thursday was a big day in Glacier National Park for crews who have been plowing both sides of the Going-To-The-Sun Road since early April. The west side and east side crews met at the Big Drift.

Park officials aren’t saying exactly when the road will be open, after all, we could still see a major snowstorm. But a historically warm spring has allowed the plows to make significant progress"

"It is always difficult to say right up until that last minute. You know, we get a lot of storms in June, particularly, that can really impact what happens even up until that last day," said Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley.

Plow crews cleared snow around Logan Pass on Thursday but perhaps Mother Nature helped the most with the month of may bringing rapid snowmelt due to warm temperatures and wet storms.

"There were a couple of days it was rated high and that was because we were entering a transition from a dry snowpack to a wet snowpack," said Erin Peitcszh with the U.S. Geological Survey who’s an expert in avalanches.

West Side Road supervisor Stan Stahr says in his two decades there haven’t been any incidents along the road. He explained what crews are doing to help get the Going-to-the-Sun Road ready for tourists.

"There’s a crew, a pioneering crew, and then we have a clean-up crew and a crew that follows behind and starts doing clean-up, log rails," Stahr explained.

"It’s almost 500 logs. And it takes a solid two weeks to put in," said Treyson Hopkins who was part of the crew that spent Thursday installing guardrails along the historic road. "They were craning the log into place and then they have got to bolt it to these pedestals.

The installation of the guardrails is one of the final phases before the Going-to-the-Sun Road can officially open.