Yellowstone National Park visitors will be able to travel between West Thumb Junction and Old Faithful when the last stretch of park road over Craig Pass opens for the season at 7 a.m. Thursday.
Construction crews removed an almost 75-year-old bridge over Isa Lake on Craig Pass, replacing it with a new bridge and widening the road to handle the current volume of traffic, according to information released by the park’s public affairs office.
“Crews have placed beams and paved the surface and approaches. We are on target to open the road on Thursday, with minor traffic delays up to 30 minutes,” said Mike Angermeier, Yellowstone landscape architect.
Crews will continue work on the bridge railing, adding signs and completing the pedestrian areas. The project also entails reconstructing two pullouts and adding an additional pullout to the northwest of the bridge. Expected completion of the project is Sept. 10.
Elsewhere in the park, improvement projects continue on a 5.4 mile stretch of road between the Norris Campground and Mammoth Hot Springs, as well as the bridge over the Gardner River. Visitors should expect up to 30 minute delays and sometimes muddy conditions as crews work to complete that project by Oct. 1. For up-to-date road construction information, go to http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm.
Visitors will also see construction activity around Gardiner as crews enhance access to Yellowstone National Park through the North Entrance. The project includes improving U.S. Highway 89, revamping parking, traffic flow, signage and lighting, providing accessible walkways, building a welcome center with public restrooms, along with a new North Entrance station and an Arch Park amphitheater. Throughout the project, visitors will still be able to access the historic Roosevelt Arch for photos. For more detailed information, go to gardinergatewayproject.org.