Glacier Rail Park work halted by snow, moisture
LHC, Inc. was selected as the contractor for the new Glacier Rail Park in June of last year, and construction began soon afterward. A winter featuring brutal levels of snowfall has slowed progress, but not derailed it, according to city officials at a recent meeting.
A retaining wall that runs along the southern portion of the project, just off Whitefish Road north of East Idaho Street, was erected before some severe snowstorms forced work to temporarily halt, said Katharine Thompson, assistant director of community and economic development.
Variable temperatures are causing snowfall moisture in the soil to melt, seep into the ground and freeze and is putting a further moratorium on work. Thompson said she expects construction to resume in late March or early April, weather depending.
Previously city officials have said they hope to have the project completed by the end of 2018.
The rail park is a major and necessary part of a project that aims to transform the heart of Kalispell. When complete, trains will circumvent the middle of Kalispell and the last remaining businesses that rely on them will relocate to the new rail park.
The rails through town will then be ripped out and replaced - a process that could begin as early as 2019 - with a trail crossing from Woodland Park through the western portion of town. It is also likely to present an opportunity for a significant cross-town transportation corridor.
Reporter Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or email@example.com.