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    National Park ID,MT,WY

New Yellowstone Road Improvement Plan Approved

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Date: October 27, 2011
Contact: Al Nash or Dan Hottle, 307-344-2015

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
October 27, 2011           11-109        
Al Nash or Dan Hottle (307) 344-2015


New Yellowstone Road Improvement Plan Approved

A new plan to reconstruct a portion of the northern section of Yellowstone National Park's Grand Loop Road has been approved.

A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) allowing construction to begin was signed by the National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director on October 21. An Environmental Assessment (EA) proposing two alternatives was released for public review and comment in May 2011.

The project includes reconstruction of a 15.9-mile segment of the road and its associated parking areas and turnouts, as well as the rehabilitation of two bridges between the Norris campground entrance and a point just north of Swan Lake Flats known as Golden Gate. Depending upon available funding, the project could begin as early as 2014.  

Improvement of the road is needed in order for the park to maintain acceptable engineering safety standards and provide a safe and enjoyable driving experience for visitors. It also serves to better facilitate park operations and emergency services, improve resource protection and enable more efficient use of park funds.  

Among the highlights of the approved alternative:

• Widening the road from its current 19-22-foot width to a width of 30 feet.
• Expanding parking areas and turnouts to more adequately handle traffic volumes and reduce wildlife viewing jams.  
• Shifting the road's alignment to reduce dangerous curves at Frying Pan Spring, Semi-Centennial Geyser, and the curve just north of Grizzly Lake Trailhead.
• Improving accessibility features for disabled visitors.

Improvements will be completed in phases during the early spring and late fall periods to reduce the impact on day to day operations along the route.

Copies of the EA and the FONSI are available on the National Park Service Planning, Environmental and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell.  

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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