Beartooth Pass Has Portions of Road "Missing"

Red Lodge, MT – Montana Transportation officials got an aerial view Monday of the damage caused by mudslides on the Beartooth Highway. Transportation Department Spokeswoman Charity Watt-Levis says they found 12 slide areas and they are quite concerned about four of those mudslides where there are major portions of the road missing. The scenic highway that runs from the Chief Joseph Highway northwest of Cody to Red Lodge, Montana was scheduled to open for the summer this weekend. Watt-Levis says it's too early to know when the road will be able to open. She says the department knows the importance of the road to the local tourism industry and that this is its top priority right now. If the road remains closed for an extended period of time, Red Lodge tourism could take a huge hit because the town would lose its direct access to Yellowstone National Park. Cody tourism officials say this should not impact the industry on the Wyoming side of the border, unless there is an extended closure of the Beartooth Highway and visitors look for alternatives to Red Lodge.