Preserve Glacier National Park’s Paved Historic Roads

Worker repairs road with durapatcher

There are five paved roads in Glacier National Park that are considered historic, including the National Historic Landmark Going-to-the-Sun Road. These roads are subject to heavy visitor use over a short summer timeframe. The rest of the year they are subject to extreme weather. Both of these factors take a toll on the integrity of the pavement on these roads.

With the deterioration of the paved roads within the park, millions of dollars are needed on a 7 plus-or-minus year cycle to perform pavement preservation in the form of chip and slurry sealing the potholes and cracks in the asphalt.

Starting in the spring, the road crew hand-shovels the patch into the back of trucks, drives to a pothole location, and again hand-shovels the patch material into the potholes. This method of hand-patching puts the employees at risk of injury and is a very slow and tedious process. It has also proven to be ineffective in keeping up with the deteriorating roads within Glacier because it is placed at a cold temperature and does not adhere well to the subgrade or the edges of existing asphalt. These patches often fail soon after they are applied.

This project will fund the purchase or secure a donation for a DuraPatcher machine that is trailer mounted, and would be towed with a small Park Service dump truck. Road crews would use this machine to fill in cavities, cracks, potholes, deteriorated road shoulders, washouts, utility cuts, fissures and large patches of cracking on all of the paved roads and parking areas in Glacier National Park.


Posted on

July 6, 2017