Glenn Highway nearly impassable due to whiteout conditions

Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 2:33 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska State Troopers have announced in a community alert that whiteout conditions on New Year’s Day have made the flats section of the Glenn Highway in between the Parks Highway interchange and the Palmer Alternate nearly impassable.

“Troopers are allowing emergency traffic only to go Northbound on the Glenn with pilot cars,” Troopers wrote. “There may be significant detour delays.”

Alaska State Troopers Public Information Officer Tim DeSpain said that the blowing snow has made visibility incredibly poor and numerous vehicles were in the ditch, but most have been recovered. DeSpain said that troopers and the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities were working to find a solution for vehicular traffic as the strong winds are not expected to die down today.

DeSpain wrote at 4:26 that northbound traffic is being directed onto the Old Glenn Highway and the southbound traffic is being taken across the flats by trooper pilot cars.

“It’s that entre section across the flats there, however the road is not like closed all the way, it’s just that you know we’re working, we’re trying to work with DOT to figure out a solution because for right now we’re not able to maintain using our troopers for pilot vehicles to get cars through there for any long term,” DeSpain said. “There will be delays but in the short term right now there’s, we just need people to go really slow through there and expect delays and very low visibility and possibly pilot cars. Again, I’m not sure how long they’re going to continue doing that so there’s a chance that DOT could close the road completely, I just don’t know. It is passable with extreme caution and some delays.”

DeSpain said that Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents could take the Old Glenn Highway exit into Palmer if necessary, but advised against unneeded travel. Mat-Su residents are also able to travel between Palmer and Wasilla via the Glenn and Parks Highway interchange.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional information.

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