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. In 2018, Yellowstone reported a conservative backlog estimate exceeding $586 million, more than half of which related to roads. In 2022, the park is investing approximately $155 million to improve safety, access, and experience on park roads, including facilities such as parking lots and overlooks.
Projects in 2022
There will be three major road construction projects in 2022. All three projects will cause major delays (Lewis River Bridge, Old Faithful to West Thumb, and Yellowstone River Bridge). One of these projects (Old Faithful to West Thumb) will have overnight closures for certain periods of time (learn more in the project descriptions below).
1. Lewis River Bridge
Location: 10 miles north of the South Entrance on the South Entrance Road
2. Old Faithful to West Thumb
Location: Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb
3. Yellowstone River Bridge
Location: Near Tower Junction along the Northeast Entrance Road
Chip 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.
The park completed two major infrastructure improvement projects in 2021:
1. Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road
After two years of construction and roughly $28 million invested, Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road (near Dunraven Pass) reopened May 27, 2022! This segment of road remained largely unchanged since the last improvements in the 1930s. Construction work for this project included widening roughly 6 miles of the Grand Loop Road and providing additional/improved pullouts; creating a larger, safer parking area at Tower Fall General Store; improving the trail and overlook for Tower Fall; and reconditioning Chittenden Road and reconstructing the Mount Washburn parking area. To fund this infrastructure improvement, the park received a grant through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands Program and matched it with fee dollars collected in the park.
2. North Entrance
After nearly two years of construction and roughly $12 million invested, the North Entrance is now equipped to meet the challenges of increasing visitation and traffic. This project included adding an additional lane and kiosk to improve traffic flow and reduce lines; replacing the existing two structures with three new entrance kiosk buildings; updating 2 miles of roadway; improving the flow of employee and delivery traffic from Robert Reamer Avenue; improving pedestrian safety by realigning parking along Robert Reamer Avenue; and replacing the water line along Robert Reamer Avenue. Funding for this project came from the Federal Highways Administration, Yellowstone Forever, National Park Foundation, and fees collected in the park.
Grand Teton Road Construction
Moose-Wilson Road: Expect closures and delays during summer 2022. Visit Moose-Wilson Road Construction for more information.
Last updated: September 20, 2022