Goose Lake Road Reaches the Finish Line
It’s been a long road to completion, but after two summers of intensive work, the Goose Lake Road re-build is finally complete! Chances are the fresh asphalt will be covered with snow by the time most of our guests get a chance to road-test it, so we wanted to give you all a visual tour of the finished product.
Highlights – Wider, Brighter, Smoother
The most noticeable improvement is simply the width of the road. Not only is there enough space for two legitimate lanes of traffic, but for the first time ever, we have stripes on the road! Anyone who’s come around a sharp curve into oncoming traffic will appreciate having a center line to keep everyone in their proper place.
Smoothing the Curves
The other big safety bonus is the re-design to the sharpest curves and the attention to sight lines. Again, if you ever came around one of the formerly-blind corners to find a large vehicle bearing down on you, you’ll definitely notice the improved visibility around the corners.
The top two turns on the road are still a little sharp as you can see in the photos below:
But while these curves are still tight, the ‘arc’ has been smoothed out for a more consistent ride.
On top of that, two of our most troublesome curves have been completely eliminated.
A huge fill was built last summer to straighten the road over Thorn Creek. (Known to many as ‘the hairpin’.) This fill is as tall as a standard six-story building. (See photos from last summer’s construction here). This stretch of road is now straighter, with good sight lines, and the best part? A turning lane into to the Gordon Titus Parking Lot, which should reduce the need to stop for left-turning traffic as you drive uphill.
The second big piece of the curve-smoothing puzzle is on what used to be the ‘Upper S-Curve’. Not much of a curve is left on this new piece of roadway. The old spot (about two miles from the bottom of the road) was a frequent location for unwanted snowbank encounters. Now, we expect all sensible drivers to have smooth sailing through this stretch.
Wide Spots in the Road
A few other great benefits were built in. There is now a nice, wide chain-up area for our visitors to use at the bottom of the road.
There are also several un-paved benches which we can use for snow storage when storms get serious. That gives our road crews more options for how to clear snow from the road than when it was narrow and restrictive for our plows.
If you haven’t been up Highway 55 for a while, you’ll notice the changes to the intersection right away. This part of the highway was widened significantly (along with the mouth of Goose Lake Road) in order to build more functional turn lanes in all directions.
This is the view north-bound, with a turning lane on to Goose Lake Road and also a merge-lane for those exiting Goose Lake Road on to Southbound Highway 55.
This is what the intersection looks like coming in from the New Meadows side:
Beyond the Pavement
Drivers will be most impressed by the improvements mentioned above, but an enormous amount of work also went in to the road base and the culverts. A new, improved fish passage was created at the base of the road and an endless amount of drainage and erosion control work is visible along the sides from top to bottom.
The finishing touch on the project was a fresh coat of hydroseed to keep the newly-shaped hillsides intact. Now all we need is a big dose of fresh snow to get the mountain open and give our skiers and riders a solid reason to take this brand new Road Trip!