Icefields Parkway to close over avalanche concerns

Avalanche safety measures will mean the closure of the Icefields Parkway, the popular Rockies route between Jasper and Banff.

The Yellowhead Highway from Edmonton to Prince George will be open as usual, but Alberta Highway 93 from a point 11 km south of the Icefields Centre to Saskatchewan River Crossing (Alberta Highway 11) will be closed. According to Jasper National Park spokesperson Steve Young, the closure will start today at 7 a.m. and carry on until Friday evening.

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"Significant snowfall is forecasted along the Icefields Parkway," said Young. "The Icefields Parkway will be closed for avalanche control work. Additional control work could be required on Saturday that may result in lengthy delays."

This drive through the mountains is considered one of the most picturesque in the world for tourists but the vast majority of that traffic happens in summer.

Nonetheless it is an important artery connecting the Central Interior to Southern Alberta. The threat of avalanche is a common factor each winter along that roadway.

To get the latest information on the safety precautions and the road closures they are invoking, log onto the Alberta driving conditions website at www.511.alberta.ca.

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