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The Denali Park Road may be closed for 2020 season

 The park road can be seen sliding down the hillside. (NPS Photos)
The park road can be seen sliding down the hillside. (NPS Photos) (KTVF)
Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 12:04 PM AKST
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Due to road erosion, the Denali Park Road may be closed at mile 43 next summer.

According to a press release from Denali National Park and Preserve, the section of road at mile marker 45.4 has been sliding down a hill for years, but in recent times, the road has become increasingly unstable. The road has been sliding downhill multiple feet a year.

The park is working with the Federal Highway Administration to evaluate the situation and develop a solution.

The release said they are considering either rebuilding the road in its current location, building a bridge over the area, or rerouting that portion of the road to somewhere more stable.

If there is a delayed opening or road closure at mile marker 43, access to some of the overlooks, the Eielson Visitor Center, and the Kantishna and Wonder Lakes areas will be restricted.

G.W. Hitchcock, the Public Affairs Officer for Denali National Park and Preserve said that they are, "Being proactive because we know it's the problem that's been around for a while, and appears to be increasing. So we want people to be aware, be engaged, and if they see anything happen... have alternative arrangements or at least know what options are available to them."

Hitchcock said that the results of some studies conducted on the road area should be published in January and provide some direction as to the action they take with the road.

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