- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Crews are scrambling to clear the snowpack on Beartooth Pass on the Montana-Wyoming border in hopes of opening the highway Friday.

The Billings Gazette reports https://goo.gl/ZWojdM the Montana Department of Transportation started clearing the snow on U.S. Highway 212 seven weeks ago. Steve Reed, a supervisor with the transportation department, says drifts were deeper than average this year, and the snow is wet and heavy.

A snowplow scrapes about 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of snow from the top of the drift on each pass it makes. Up to 40 feet (12.2 meters) of snow buried some areas of the highway, and it could take days to reduce to a depth manageable for the giant snow blowers.

Near the borderline, the pass reaches above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) in elevation.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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