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Hatcher Pass Road reopened after heavy snow, avalanches bury road for over 10 weeks

Hatcher Pass Road was finally reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than 10 weeks due to heavy snowfall that led to numerous avalanches.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 1:57 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Hatcher Pass Road was finally reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than 10 weeks due to heavy snowfall that led to numerous avalanches, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Serving as one of only two roads that connect Southcentral Alaska to Independence Mine State Historical Park in Hatcher Pass, the road has been closed around mile 11 since Feb. 14, when a snowstorm deposited 50 inches of snow, according to an observation by the Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center, leading to avalanche warnings from the National Weather Service. The avalanche center observed multiple slides covering the road around mile 14 in the days following the snowstorm.

Other avalanches around Southcentral Alaska also derailed efforts to clear Hatcher Pass Road, as more traffic-heavy routes took priority, including the Old Glenn and Seward Highways, which were both blocked by snow slides on Feb. 18.

The department said the road opened up to the lower parking lot at Independence Mine in a Facebook post on Tuesday, 71 days after initially closing. Department spokesperson Jill Reese said it was “the longest closure in memory.”

Hatcher Pass Road was finally reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than 10 weeks due to...
Hatcher Pass Road was finally reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than 10 weeks due to heavy snowfall that led to numerous avalanches.(Courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
Hatcher Pass Road was finally reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than 10 weeks due to...
Hatcher Pass Road was finally reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than 10 weeks due to heavy snowfall that led to numerous avalanches.(Courtesy Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)

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