The slide has completely blocked the road with fissures as large as 3 feet wide and 20 feet deep. The ground remains unstable and the slide has pushed into the Greys River, causing fears that it will dam the river and possibly lead to flooding should the dam break.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest does not have an estimate of when the area will be reopened or when road work will begin.
Residents, businesses and some local government officials have expressed concern about the closure, stating that they believe there is no immediate risk or danger to the public on the road leading up to slide and that closing the road has caused unnecessarily hurt the economy.
Tim Haberberger, owner of the Box Y Lodge, discusses the closure of the Greys River Road.
Richard Jenkins, former Mayor of Alpine, discusses the closure of the Greys River Road.
The Forest Service, however, has stood by the decision to closet the road, stating that “The only thing holding the rest of the hillside up right now is the unstable earthen mass at the toe of the slide. If you remove the toe then the rest of the slide will come down making the situation worse.”
For Thursday morning’s Text-in Topic during Weekday Wake-up on SVI Radio, Duke & Dahl asked the listeners if they agreed or disagreed with the decision to close the road. Below are the responses.
Agree with the Decision
“How many of those wanting it open are geology majors? Let the experts do their job.”
“The important thing to note is that it’s not our call.”
“I think the Forest Service is doing their job in trying to keep people safe. Maybe an Enter At Your Own Risk sign could be put up. Then if someone is injured or killed it is on that person, not the Forest Service.”
“If you close it right at Murphy people will go around the sign and this way no one can go up.”
“I agree with the road closure. If you open the road you’ll have people up there getting into trouble.”
“Agree, what’s wrong with being cautious and safe?”
Disagree with the Decision
“Open the road, and these are public lands, they should be open to the public to use at their own risk. We do not need the forest circus to babysit us.”
“If this slide happened on the highway it would already be cleaned up and fixed the forest service only knows how to close things.”
“They should close it nearer the slide, closing it the entire way doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
“Can’t believe it’s closed! Open the road till it completely dams off the river.”
“It is horrid decision, i think the forest service is playing games or just being idiots.”
“I think that if it’s well marked and there is a warning people can use it at their own discretion just as if they were going and there were Avalanches. There is danger is all over people just need to have common sense and be safe so I disagree that it’s closed.”
“Perhaps the Forest Service can cut the closed area in half. That would still allow for several miles of use on the road and several miles of a cushion from the slide.”