A motor vehicle accident at milepost 231 Parks Highway sent multiple people to the hospital and closed the highway for about an hour and a half Thursday morning.

According to a news release issued by Denali National Park and Preserve, park rangers responded to a 911 call at 8:30 a.m. and found two vehicles containing a total of nine passengers had collided.

"Though multiple injuries were sustained, everyone involved was lucid at the scene. Patients were sent by ambulance to Fairbanks for treatment and further evaluation," the release states. 

The crash occurred near McKinley Village, across the Nenana River from Denali Grizzly Bear Resort. The highway was reopened about 10 a.m. after the damaged vehicles had been removed. 

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has proposed the construction of new pedestrian facilities, a rest area and intersection improvements to enhance safety in that area. 

News-Miner community editor and Denali resident Kris Capps wrote about the area in a 2014 column. 

"Just north of the bridge, DOT proposes a large parking area and rest stop. It also proposes to move the Denali National Park sign a little further off the main highway so visitors can more safely exit their vehicles and get their photos taken standing next to the sign," the column states. "A new trail would head west under the bridge and link to the Triple Lakes Trail. The small turnout at the Triple Lakes trailhead likely would go away. Subsequently, everyone gets removed from the edge of the highway to safer locales."

According to the DOT website, the project is in the conceptual drawing and engineering phase, and construction is expected to begin in 2021. 

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/FDNMcrime