Canyon Rim Restoration Work Slated To Begin In July
Contact: Al Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012
A two-year project to restore the Artist Point overlook and improve roads and parking areas along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is set to begin on Monday, July 9, after the busy July 4th holiday.
The Canyon Rim area was rebuilt in the1950s. It was not designed to handle the number of people or vehicles that now use the roads, parking areas, trails, and overlooks. Over the decades,deterioration and use have resulted in crumbling roads, congestion, site erosion, and safety hazards.
During this summer’s construction, visitors will still be able to capture breathtaking views of the Upper and Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from overlooks along the North Rim Drive including Inspiration Point, Grand View overlook, and Lookout Point.
Visitors will also be able to take the South Rim Drive from the Grand Loop Road to the Wapiti Picnic Area and into the Uncle Tom’s Trail parking area and enjoy most of the trails in the Canyon area.
Repair and rehabilitation efforts this summer will focus on the pathway and the lower and upper overlooks in the Artist Point area. The parking area will be rebuilt to reduce traffic congestion and better accommodate larger vehicles. Public vault toilets will also be added.
Due to construction, the road between Uncle Tom’s Trail and Artist Point will be closed to all vehicle and foot traffic from Monday, July 9 through the fall. The South Rim Trail from Uncle Tom’s Trail to Artist Point and the trail from Artist Point past Lilly Pond Lake to the junction with the Ribbon Lake Trail will also be closed. Tour buses and large RVs may want to avoid the South Rim Drive during construction.
Road and parking area improvements on the North Rim Drive will begin late this fall, with most of the work taking place in 2008. Next year’s construction will also see turn lanes added to the Grand Loop Road where it intersects with the North Rim Drive. When the project is completed, one-way traffic on the North Rim Drive will be reversed to start at the Brink of the Lower Falls and end at Canyon Village to reduce traffic congestion.
Funding for the nearly $7 million dollar project comes from the Federal Highway Administration and a $950,000 grant from the Yellowstone Park Foundation.