The Latest: Denali National Park plans to fully reopen road
DENALI NATIONAL PARK, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on transportation problems in Alaska's Denali National Park (all times local):
The road that goes through Denali National Park and Preserve will be fully open at 5 a.m. Sunday.
The park's superintendent says in a statement that crews spent Saturday repairing damage caused by erosion, mudslides and rock slides throughout the western half of the road.
"Park staff have done a remarkable job responding to this incident and ensuring the safety and comfort of park visitors," Chief Ranger Erika Jostad said. "Folks from all disciplines have come together to safely accomplish this important task. Their commitment to ensuring Denali National Park and Preserve remains accessible to all visitors was demonstrated by how quickly the team was able to respond to this incident and repair the damage to the road."
About 300 tourists have been all safely returned to Alaska's Denali National Park entrance after they became stranded when a mudslide damaged the only road inside the vast park.
Park spokesman Paul Ollig tells The Associated Press that all the stranded tourists were back at the entrance by midnight.
The tourists became stranded Friday after heavy rains triggered mudslides and caused excess water from a culvert to damage the road.
Ollig said park officials would make an assessment later if the road would reopen Saturday.
Road crews have cleared one lane in Alaska's Denali National Park, and buses are beginning to return about 300 stranded tourists back to the park entrance.
The tourists became stranded Friday after heavy rains triggered mudslides and caused excess water from a culvert to damage a road.
Park spokesman Paul Ollig tells The Associated Press that all the stranded passengers are expected back at the park entrance tonight, but he didn't have an exact time of when they would arrive.
He said park officials would make an assessment later if the park road would reopen Saturday.
Three hundred tourists are stranded in a national park in Alaska after heavy rains triggered mudslides and caused excess water from a culvert to damage a road.
The superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve closed Denali Park Road to all traffic at mile 30 on Friday. The road is the only one inside the vast park.
The National Park Service said in a news release it anticipates reopening the road Saturday.
But on Friday evening, a park official said the road could re-open sooner.
"The main area they're focusing on is Polychrome Pass," Paul Ollig, acting public information officer, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "We are confident conditions are improving, and we should be able to get a lane clear this evening to get buses out of Toklat and evacuated through."