Years of above-average rain have put roads in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park on the brink.
Beginning this week, emergency road repairs will begin in an attempt to repair the roads before the heavy tourist season begins.
Several wet years have resulted in a small but substantial road failure and continued erosion of a major slope onto the roadway on the North Unit’s Scenic Drive. Repairs will include excavating the entire width of the road above the closure gate at the Caprock Coulee parking area and rebuilding the embankment slope in the area that continues to slide.
“The North Unit Scenic Drive is always a challenge to maintain because of the unstable badlands soils,” said Superintendent Valerie Naylor. “The level of soil moisture over the last five years, combined with the local geology, have made the need for maintenance a continuing issue for us.”
The North Unit Scenic Drive will be closed at the Caprock Coulee parking area while repairs are in progress.
Repairs may be delayed because of weather conditions, but are expected to be completed by May 15.
For current road conditions, call 701-623-4730, ext. 1417, during business hours and on weekends. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/thro.