GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — Tourists and Montanans are eager to know when Going To The Sun Road will be fully open in Glacier National Park. Park officials say that it is more than just snow plowing that is delaying the opening of the iconic road - even with the higher temperatures.
“The plowing honestly is the easier part," said Glacier National Park road supervisor Brian Paul.
Paul says that the park has experienced more than 60 avalanches this year, and what is left behind leaves the opening date of the road a question. “All the rockfall, all that rock has to be cleaned up and we need to sweep the whole road and we still have 400 guard logs to put in by hand," he explained.
The process of plowing the snow off the road can be slow despite the equipment being able to move 4,000 tons of snow in an hour.
"Almost two weeks to get it down to bare pavement," said GNP road crew member Christian Tranel who has been on the crew for 11 years.
As for when the road can open? Paul said, "We can only open the road as fast as Mother Nature lets us, really."