Addressing the deferred maintenance backlog is part of the National Park Service’s core mission to preserve national parks and provide a world-class visitor experience. With winter weather conditions possible half the year, there is a small window from April through early November for repairing and maintaining park roads and bridges. We appreciate your patience as we complete these important projects. Drive slowly through road construction and be alert to workers, heavy equipment, wildlife, and other hazards.
Projects in 2020
There will be four major road construction projects in 2020. One project will have a complete closure between Tower-Roosevelt and Chittenden Road, while three projects will cause delays (North Entrance, Old Faithful, and Fishing Bridge to Indian Pond).
1. Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road
Improvements: This 6-mile segment of road remains largely unchanged since the last improvements in the 1930s. This construction project will widen the road and provide additional/improved pullouts; create a larger, safer parking area at Tower Fall General Store; and improve the trail and overlook for Tower Fall. To fund this project, the park received a grant through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands Program and will match it with fee dollars collected in the park.
Access: The road between Tower-Roosevelt and Chittenden Road will be completely closed until May 2022. (In 2021, the full closure will be between Tower Fall and Chittenden Road.) Specific areas on each side of this closure will be open for select time periods:
2. North EntranceImprovements: The North Entrance is not equipped to meet the challenges of increasing visitation and traffic. This construction will add an additional lane and kiosk to improve traffic flow and reduce lines; replace the existing two buildings with one larger building/station and two kiosks; improve the flow of employee and delivery traffic from Robert Reamer Avenue; improve pedestrian safety by realigning parking along Robert Reamer Avenue; and replace the water line along Robert Reamer Avenue. Funding for this project comes from the Federal Highways Administration, Yellowstone Forever, the National Park Foundation, and fees collected in the park.
Access: Beginning in early summer, expect delays around the North Entrance. The entrance station will be open. More details, including dates, will be available after a construction contractor is selected. This project will start in 2020 and take two years.
3. Fishing Bridge to Indian PondImprovements: Along this section of road, an earthen causeway has been in place since 1902 limiting Pelican Creek’s ability to flow naturally. Construction in 2020 will replace the Pelican Creek bridge and causeway with a viaduct to allow the wetland and creek to flow freely again. Crews will also put the finishing touches on work that started in 2018 to improve the deck, piers, and abutment of Fishing Bridge; add turn lanes to the facilities at Fishing Bridge; construct a larger, improved parking area to the east of the General Store; and widen the road and add/improve pullouts. Funding for this project comes from the Federal Highways Administration.
Access: From May 4 to October 30, 2020, expect delays along the East Entrance Road between Fishing Bridge and Indian Pond. Read updated newsletters about the project status. This project will be completed in 2020.
4. Old Faithful Overpass Bridge
Improvements: The Old Faithful Overpass Bridge closed July 22, 2020, and remains closed for repairs. The closure gives crews full access to the entire deck surface and approach lanes. This work includes deck repairs, new approach slabs, new curbing, girder repairs, railing improvements, and the removal and replacement of deck drains.
Chip SealingChip sealing occurs every summer and preserves Yellowstone's roads. Check the park's live road map to see where chip sealing is scheduled to occur and plan for delays of up to 30 minutes. Dates can change due to weather. Drive slowly and maintain the recommended speed limit on chip seal pavement to reduce the risk of loose gravel damaging cars or windshields.
Last updated: September 24, 2020