Road Improvement Projects

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What's with all the construction in Yellowstone? Learn how we're keeping Yellowstone in shape for future generations.

 

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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.

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 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).

For the most up-to-date information about current, temporary road closures in the park, visit the park roads web page.

 
a bridge going over a river
Current condition of Lewis River Bridge, located on the South Entrance Road.

1. Lewis River Bridge

Location: 10 miles north of the South Entrance on the South Entrance Road

Access: From May 13 - Nov. 1, 2022, expect construction and delays up to 20 minutes in the Lewis River Bridge area. Nearby pullouts and the trail to Lewis River Falls will be closed during construction.

Improvements: This project includes the removal and replacement of the structurally deficient Lewis River Bridge. The existing 273-foot-long bridge, built in 1960, will be removed, and a new bridge will be constructed immediately downstream to preserve safe visitor access between South Entrance and West Thumb. Parking areas, overlooks, and walkways in this area will be updated and reconfigured to reduce traffic hazards and improve accessibility for visitors. This project is funded through the Great American Outdoors Act and Legacy Restoration Fund.

 
a road with potholes
Current condition of Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb.

2. Old Faithful to West Thumb

Location: Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb

Access: From May 13 until Nov. 1, 2022, expect construction and delays up to 30 minutes on the Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb. Visit Park Roads for the most up-to-date status of temporary road closures in the park.

Improvements: This project includes the rehabilitation of 22 miles of the Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb, one of the most heavily traveled road corridors in the park. Construction will include repaving the full 30-foot-wide roadway segment, which was last repaved in 1987 and has deteriorated due to heavy usage and winter weather conditions. Additionally, guardrails, culverts, and other drainage structures will be replaced to enhance visitor safety. This project is funded through the Great American Outdoors Act and Legacy Restoration Fund.

 
a bridge going over a river
Current condition of Yellowstone River Bridge.

3. Yellowstone River Bridge

Location: Near Tower Junction along the Northeast Entrance Road

Access: Anticipated to begin fall 2022 until fall 2025, expect construction and delays up to 30 minutes in the Yellowstone River Bridge area year-round. The Yellowstone River Picnic Area and Wrecker Curve access road and parking area will be closed during construction. Hiking trails in the area will remain open.

Improvements: This project includes the replacement of the structurally deficient Yellowstone River Bridge. A new bridge upstream will replace the existing 604-foot-long bridge, built in 1963, to preserve year-round access to/from the Northeast Entrance and communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana. New pullouts and paved parking areas will increase access to trails, fishing, and viewpoints. Yellowstone River Picnic Area will be enlarged to accommodate increased visitor use. This project is funded through the Great American Outdoors Act and Legacy Restoration Fund.

 

Chip Sealing

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.

 

Past Projects

The park completed two major infrastructure improvement projects in 2021:

 
a car driving on a road in the mountains
Completed construction on Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road.

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.

View more photos of the Tower-Roosevelt to Chittenden Road project on our Flickr.

 
buildings at the base of mountains
Completed construction at the North Entrance Station in Gardiner, Montana.

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.

View more photos of the North Entrance project on our Flickr.

 

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

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park , WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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