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Roadbed Collapse Prompts Temporary Closure of Road South of Canyon Junction

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Date: May 13, 2008
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2015
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2015

National Park Service

U.S. Department of the Interior


Yellowstone National Park

P.O. Box 168

Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190



May 13, 2008    08-029

Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015








Map of road segment                    Photo of road damage

A section of Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road south of Canyon Junction collapsed Monday afternoon, prompting a temporary closure of that section of road.


Weekday spring visitation and traffic are typically very light, so no one was traveling on that section of the road when the road slumped.


The break is about a mile south of Canyon Junction, between the road to the Canyon Corrals and south end of the North Rim Drive.


The roadbed in that area has been an ongoing problem for the park. Frequent visitors are likely to recall several repair efforts which have subsequently failed, resulting in a rough, uneven stretch of road.


When the roadbed subsided again Monday afternoon, it caused a break in the underlying water main which serves the Canyon area.  The rushing water further undercut the roadbed. 


Because of the road damage, the Grand Loop Road is temporarily closed from south of Canyon Junction to Alum Creek, at the north end of Hayden Valley. Visitors can still travel to Canyon by way of Norris Junction.


Despite the water line break, there is adequate water stored at Canyon to avoid any disruption in service.


Park maintenance crews are on site this morning. They are excavating an area two lanes wide, 80 feet long and 8 feet deep to determine the extent of the damage in order to begin emergency repairs to the water line and the road. 


They’re working to reopen the road to travel Thursday morning. 


Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling (307) 344-2117.



Producers/Editors note: Publication quality images of the damage are available on request.  Media interested in an escorted tour of the damage area are asked to contact the park’s Public Affairs Office. 


Did You Know?

Upper Geyser Basin Hydrothermal Features on a Winter Day.

Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park.