Whittier road closed through weekend

Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2009

ANCHORAGE - State transportation officials said the road to Whittier will remain closed through the weekend or even longer as the cleanup continues following a massive rock slide.

With the extended closure, the Alaska Railroad Corp. said emergency trains that it has been running between Anchorage and Whittier became free starting Wednesday.

Crews are removing tons of rock that fell on the road Saturday night. The slide left a 300-foot pile of rubble as high as 30 feet on the road, which remains closed at the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center.

DOT spokesman Rick Feller said blasting could be required to crush larger boulders and to negate the potential for more slides breaking loose from the newly exposed rock.

The slide occurred from a rock face cut in the late 1990s for the road to Whittier.

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