Northern half of Icefields Parkway closing due to heavy snowfall forecast

FILE: Highway 93 was closed northbound at Niblock Gate due to avalanche danger on March 17, 2017. Gary Bobrovitz / Global News

The northern stretch of the Icefields Parkway will be shutting down to traffic for the next several days because a heavy snowfall will require avalanche control on the highway along the Rocky Mountains.

An alert from Jasper National Park said significant snowfall accompanied by strong winds, blowing and drifting snow is forecasted to begin Tuesday evening along Highway 93 south of Jasper.

Parks Canada said weather forecast models are predicting between 30 and 100 centimetres of snow over a 48-hour period.

Beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, a 120-kilometre stretch of the highway will be closed from Athabasca Falls — just west of the Jasper townsite — to Saskatchewan River Crossing.

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Parks Canada said this will allow avalanche control work to safely take place on Thursday and Friday, with an anticipated reopening on Friday evening.

Maligne Lake Road is also being closely monitored for a possible extended closure.

Jasper National Park visitors will still be able to have access to the day-use area at Athabasca Falls.

Parks Canada advised drivers to monitor Jasper National Park’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information as the storm progresses.

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