Bifue Pass closure impacting tourism from New Chitose to foot of Mt. Yotei area

National Highway Route 276 Bifue Pass, which connects the Otaki district of the city of Date and the city of Chitose in the Iburi region of Hokkaido, has been closed to traffic since April due to fears of bedrock collapse, impacting access for tourists heading from New Chitose Airport to the foot of Mt. Yotei. At this point in time, there is no indication as to when the road will be reopened, and a major detour remains necessary.
 
An investigation by the Sapporo Development and Construction Department found a slab of rock on the top of a slope by the side of Route 276, that could collapse. The road has been closed between Sangaitaki-cho in Otaki-ku, Date and Bifue in Chitose (10.3 km) since April 20.
 
For the road to reopen, it is necessary for the slab of rock to be removed using heavy machinery, and a work road has been cleared, but the timeframe for completion of the work is unknown. The Development and Construction Department is urging people heading to the foot of Mt. Yotei from New Chitose Airport to detour via Otaru or Shiraoi in the Iburi region.
 
Kamori Kanko, which runs the Rusutsu Resort in the village of Rusutsu, operates up to four bus services a day to transport tourists between New Chitose Airport and Rusutsu Resort. As Route 276 can no longer be used, the buses now take the Hokkaido Expressway and head to the resort via Shiraoi.
 
Car rental companies are also advising their customers to be aware of the road closure and are distributing pamphlets, but many people are having to turn around and take the Otaru route when they come across the road closure while following their car navigation systems from New Chitose Airport to Niseko.

Location

Bifue Pass

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