Yellowstone Road Upgrades May Delay Travel

(Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park)
(Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park)

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park this summer are likely to encounter new road and bridge construction projects this summer.

Park officials say some short traffic delays are expected along portions of the Grand Loop Road. But they say the improvement work should not cause visitors to make any changes in their travel plans.

The most significant upgrade is the first phase of a project on a 16-mile stretch of road between Norris Geyser Basin and the Golden Gate area in Swan Lake Flats. Workers will widen the current road - which is between 18 and 22 feet - to the federal highways standard of 30 feet. Officials say improvements will include better pullouts, widened shoulders, safer parking areas and reconstruction of a bridge over the Gardner River. This is the first significant upgrade to the road since construction in the 1920s.

Park officials say visitors should expect traffic delays of up to 30 minutes in construction areas. A stretch of road from the Norris Campground entrance to the Moose Exhibit turnaround will be closed from 11 at night until 7 in the morning starting tomorrow (Sunday, June 1) and continuing through Thursday. The campground will not be affected by the closure.

Officials say work will also begin next month to replace the historic, but deteriorating Isa Lake Bridge, on the road between Old Faithful and West Thumb Junction. The bride is 72 years old. The project includes improvements to the existing parking area, pullouts and the Continental Divide interpretive kiosk. Visitors should expect delays of up to 30 minutes.

No daytime traffic delays or overnight road closures are planned for the July 4 holiday weekend.

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