LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As flooding continues in Death Valley National Park, prospects for an October partial opening of the Daylight Pass Road to Beatty are taking a hit.
Weekend floods that shut down a segment of California Highway 190 didn’t do any additional fresh damage to the Daylight Pass/Beatty Cutoff, according to Abby Wines, public information officer at Death Valley National Park.
But damage to equipment could complicate things, she said.
“One of the two front-end loaders we’re using is broken, and we’ve had a lot of equipment problems,” Wines said. The National Park Service plans to handle repairs to Badwater Road because there is no pavement damage. But if crews aren’t able to open Badwater Road in the next two weeks, the contractor for that project might be pulled to work on the 17-mile stretch of road.
That has the potential to delay the reopening of the road between Death Valley and Beatty by about a month, Wines said.
Businesses in Beatty have been trying to make due since the Aug. 5 storm that heavily damaged the main road to the park. An employee at the Death Valley Inn said last week that business was down by about a quarter.
Beatty town and chamber of commerce officials learned on Friday that the national park was targeting mid-October for a partial reopening. That plan would open the connection, but will require flag crews to manage traffic on one-lane gravel sections of the road as pavement is replaced to fully reopen the road.