Lowell Point Road in Seward will be open for the weekend starting Friday, nearly a month after a landslide buried hundreds of feet of road and cut off the community of Lowell Point from town.
The road will be fully open to two-lane traffic starting Friday at noon until 8 a.m. Monday, according to a press release from the Seward City Clerk’s Office. Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and noon and again from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the road will close again so cleanup crews can continue removing debris.
The road opened Friday through Monday last weekend and was opened intermittently earlier this week to continue blasting work.
Brenda Ahlberg, the head of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, said in an interview Wednesday that while the road is opening over the weekend, people should be prepared in the event of another slide or road closure.
“Our local population understands the danger of the road,” she said. “Our tourists do not.”
Ahlberg emphasized that even as the road reopens intermittently, the zone is still an active landslide area. She advised people traveling to and from Lowell Point to be ready in case they get trapped on one side for what could be up to a couple of days.
The landslide occurred on May 7, and was estimated to be around 300 feet wide by 200 feet long. Since then, water taxis and shuttle services have been working to transport residents and automobiles between Seward proper and Lowell Point.
According to the release from the city, Aurora Charters in Seward is still offering free water taxi and bus services for Lowell Point individuals who work on either side of the landslide area by appointment. Reservations can be made by calling 907-224-3968. There will be no free water taxi transportation between the two communities after June 8, however.
While officials originally estimated the reopening date would be June 1, there are still safety risks in the area, Ahlberg said. She said construction crews, including Metco Alaska LLC and Advanced Blasting Services, have worked to ensure people can use the road safely during the times it’s open.
“I think that they’ve done an outstanding job,” Ahlberg said. “I completely support what they’ve done.”
For more updates, visit the Kenai Peninsula Borough Virtual Joint Information Center website or the KPB Alerts Facebook page.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at firstname.lastname@example.org.