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Snake Lake Road remains closed due to washouts

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Norman Heyano
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Those hoping to drive to Snake Lake will have to wait; Snake Lake Road will remain closed until icy conditions allow the DOT to repair damage caused by washouts.

On Snake Lake Road just outside Dillingham, washouts caused by excess water have damaged three culverts. The Alaska Department of Transportation has closed the road.

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Credit Norman Heyano
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A closure on Snake Lake Road.

“One of the local citizens went up to the end of Snake Lake and found a washout,” said Norman Heyano, a foreman for the ADOT and Public Facilities. “We can’t get up there because there’s too much snow and ice. When the water exceeds what the culverts are – if it’s a low spot – it washes out the gravel and leaves just a culvert. That's a washout.”

Residents won’t be able to drive along the road until conditions improve and the ADOT completes repairs. The ADOT has placed a closure about half a mile along the 8.7-mile road. 

“There are probably two places where we’re going to replace culverts, and then one of them we’re going to just repair,” Heyano said.

Washouts have caused damage in previous years. Although the snow and ice are melting, Heyano can’t yet say when repairs will be complete.

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Credit Norman Heyano
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A closure on Snake Lake Road.

To begin repairs, the road needs to be dry. It will reopen once repairs are complete.

Contact the author at isabelle@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.