Bicycle Travel > Temporary ACA Route Road Closures

GD Section 2, Map A, I-15 Alternate, permanent tunnel closure. July 2021

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jrobertson:
Montana DOT has deemed the "Tunnel #9" (mile 4.8 southbound) on the I-15 alternate unsafe and welded steel grates across the tunnel. This makes the I-15 alternate impassable. The options are either to use the Main Route, or to ride I-15 the whole way between Butte and I-15 Exit #151/Junction with Boulder River Rd. See attached map.

Jeebs:
I've received reports that the newly installed gate is not permanently welded closed, and that it can be opened by removing just one bolt. Riders are encouraged to use the other routes, but the tunnel is passable if riders are in a pinch.

ray b:
After going through the gated tunnel over the weekend and talked to MT DOT on site. They wanted to make sure the cyclists could get through the tunnel OK.

The gate at the north end of the tunnel simply blocks vehicles.

I had the impression that though closed to heavier vehicles, the tunnel was OK for horse and bicycle/traffic.

The official signage essentially stated that the tunnel is dangerous, and thereby closed, which I  interpreted as, proceed at your own risk.

There might be some discrepancy between official action and interpretation by workers on the ground that should be clarified.

View of tunnel 2 Aug 2021 with vehicle gate closed and pedestrian gate open at north end only. South end is not yet gated. Note signage on right.

jrobertson:
Thank you both for the additional information here. There is definitely some conflicting information. We heard from multiple people, including someone who actually talked to the MDOT employees when they were passing through and we're told "you're the last one's through, we're welding it shut". So, it's good to hear that it is not in fact welded and still possible to complete the I-15 Alternate.

Jeebs:
We rode through the tunnel this past weekend and is accessible to bicycles and smallish vehicles. There is one large pin to remove on each door but it's a piece of cake.

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