Signs are placed on Lowell Point Road ahead of the road opening in Seward, Alaska, May 27, 2022, following the May 7 Bear Mountain landslide. (Photo and caption courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough)

Signs are placed on Lowell Point Road ahead of the road opening in Seward, Alaska, May 27, 2022, following the May 7 Bear Mountain landslide. (Photo and caption courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough)

Lowell Point Road reopens after landslide

Locals have relied on water taxi service since the May 7 slide

Almost three weeks after a landslide estimated to contain 40,000 cubic yards of debris blocked the only road between Seward and Lowell Point, motorists can now travel between communities. Lowell Point Road reopened to two-lane traffic Friday, with drivers encouraged to exercise caution and be prepared to stay in Lowell Point for “extended periods of time” if another slide occurs.

From Friday at 12 p.m. to May 31 at 8 a.m., Lowell Point Road will be open for 24 hours per day, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management said in an update. Between 8 a.m. on May 31 and June 2, the road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while more blasting work is done.

Saturday marks three weeks since the May 7 slide off Bear Mountain severed vehicular traffic between the communities. Since then, crews from Metco Alaska LLC and Advanced Blasting Services have worked to remove debris and stabilize the area. Locals have relied on water taxi operations provided free of cost for essential travel in the interim.

Still, officials said the area remains unstable.

Emergency management said in a Friday update that any motorists who choose to travel on Lowell Point Road do so “at their own risk,” as Bear Mountain continues to be unstable.

“A landslide could occur at any time,” the borough said. “If you choose to drive Lowell Point Road, you should be prepared for unexpected road closures, and prolonged stays in Lowell Point.”

The City of Seward said Friday that while the road is scheduled to be open until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, it will be closed if, at any point, it becomes unsafe. Through the weekend, people will not be allowed to walk along, bicycle on or fish off the road, and motorists will not be allowed to stop and take pictures, the city said.

Two members of the Alaska State Defense Force and one member of the Alaska Naval Militia were deployed by the Alaska National Guard, the borough said, to assist with traffic control. Motorists are asked to pay attention to signage along the road and to watch out for falling debris or rocks.

While Lowell Point Road is open to traffic, free water taxi and shuttle service will not be available.

People interested in paying for a water taxi ride to or from Lowell Point can contact Aurora Charters, which offers six departure times from Seward and Lowell Point between 6 a.m. and 7:40 p.m. at 907-224-3968. Miller’s Landing, which led water taxi efforts immediately after the slide, announced Friday that it is returning to “business as usual” and will not offer taxis outside of its regularly scheduled operations.

A resolution adopted by the Seward City Council that declared a state of emergency in response to the event says that the slide was estimated to be more than 200 feet tall and 300 feet wide. It was estimated to contain more than 40,000 cubic yards of debris. Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce also issued disaster declarations for the area.

Updates about the status of the slide area are being shared on the borough’s KPB Alerts Facebook page and on the City of Seward’s Facebook page, as well as at

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

Nate Rochon cleans fish after dipnetting in the Kasilof River, on June 25, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
King closures continue; Kasilof dipnet opens Saturday

The early-run Kenai River king sport fishery remains closed, and fishing for kings of any size is prohibited

An "Al Gross for Congress" sign sits near the driveway to Gross’ home in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, after he announced plans to withdraw from the U.S. House race. Gross has given little explanation in two statements for why he is ending his campaign, and a woman who answered the door at the Gross home asked a reporter to leave the property. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Alaska judge rules Sweeney won’t advance to special election

JUNEAU — A state court judge ruled Friday that Alaska elections officials… Continue reading

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion 
Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen listens to a presentation from Alaska Communications during a meeting of the Soldotna City Council on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska.
ACS pilots fiber program in certain peninsula neighborhoods

The fiber to the home service will make available the fastest internet home speeds on the peninsula

Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. COVID-19 vaccines for kids younger than 5 years old are now approved by both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
COVID shots for kids under 5 available at public health

Roughly 18 million kids nationwide will now be eligible to get their COVID vaccines.

Megan Mitchell, left, and Nick McCoy protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning of Roe v. Wade at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Heartbroken’, ‘Betrayed’: Alaskans react to Roe decision

Supreme Court decision ends nearly 50 years of legally protected access to abortion

Demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court’s landmark abortion cases. (AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)
Alaskans react to Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion.

Tara Sweeney, a Republican seeking the sole U.S. House seat in Alaska, speaks during a forum for candidates, May 12, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/ Mark Thiessen)
Lawsuit says Sweeney should advance in Alaska US House race

The lawsuit says the fifth-place finisher in the special primary, Republican Tara Sweeney, should be put on the August special election ballot

Gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker stands in the Peninsula Clarion office on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska AFL-CIO endorses Walker, Murkowski, Peltola

The AFL-CIO is Alaska’s largest labor organization and has historically been one of its most powerful political groups

A portion of a draft letter from Jeffrey Clark is displayed as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Federal agents search Trump-era official’s home, subpoena GOP leaders

Authorities on Wednesday searched the Virginia home of Jeffrey Clark

Most Read