Road between Seward and Lowell Point will now reopen just before Memorial Day weekend

A landslide as seen from the air
The Lowell Point landslide. (Photo courtesy of James Unrein)

The only road between Seward and the community of Lowell Point will now reopen just before Memorial Day weekend, nearly three weeks after it was buried in landslide debris.

City and borough officials announced Tuesday that two-way traffic can resume on the road starting Friday at noon — a few days earlier than expected. Intermittent road closures are slated for next week.

Chance Miller said it feels like someone’s about to open the floodgates. Miller runs the campground and tourist business Miller’s Landing in Lowell Point. And he said the upcoming holiday weekend is typically the kickoff to the small community’s busy summer season.

“It’s when pretty much 100% of the time, 100% of our sites have sold out,” Miller said.

That said, he’s not sure his business is fully ready for the surge. He’s been in emergency mode since the landslide, putting his early-season bookings on hold to instead ferry residents and trapped tourists back and forth — often for free.

Related: The important role of water taxis in Alaska | INDIE ALASKA

Now, he’ll have to pivot back to tourist mode. The road will be open 24-hours a day through the weekend. That means visitors can just drive right up to his business.

“Our phones are already firing off the hook,” Miller said. “We have to tell them that the road’s, in fact, open, and they need to get a taxi or rent a car because we need to try to keep things status quo here.”

He’ll be back to ferrying between Seward and Lowell Point for a few days next week. The Kenai Peninsula Borough said Lowell Point Road will be closed again next Tuesday through Thursday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., so crews can do blasting work. During that time, Miller’s Landing and Aurora Charters will offer free water taxis for residents and a pay-per-ride service for tourists.

The borough said it’s possible there will be more road closures and delays ahead, depending on weather conditions that could again destabilize the slope. The borough is posting updates about the slide and the water taxi schedule on its Facebook page, KPB Alerts.

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