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Public comment sought on Yellowstone River Bridge replacement

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The National Park Service is considering replacing the bridge spanning the Yellowstone River near the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. NPS PHOTO

Deadline March 15

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo. – The National Park Service seeks public comment on a proposal to replace the Yellowstone River Bridge in Yellowstone National Park. The bridge is located on the Northeast Entrance Road near Tower Junction. 

This project will maintain safe visitor access from the park’s Northeast Entrance near Cooke City, Montana, since the bridge is part of the only road corridor in the park that is open year-round and plowed in the winter. Built in the early 1960s, the bridge’s concrete deck, sidewalks and parapets have deteriorated.

The Environmental Assessment analyzes impacts to geothermal resources, visitor experience, vegetation and wetlands in the project area. The EA evaluates three alternatives.

In Alternative A, if NPS took no action, the bridge would remain in its existing condition.

Alternative B, the agency’s preferred alternative, would replace the bridge with a larger 1,200-foot-long bridge about 500 feet south of its existing location. One mile of new road would be constructed to line up with the new bridge location. Following construction, the existing bridge and approximately 1.5 miles of existing road would be removed, and the area restored. 

Alternative C would include construction of a new bridge directly adjacent to and slightly north of the existing bridge. Following construction, the existing one would be removed. The new bridge would be about 600 feet long and the road that approaches the bridge would be moved north. 

Alternative B and C would reconstruct and widen the 24-foot-wide bridge to a 30-foot paved width. In addition, 1-1.5 miles of road from Tower Junction to the Yellowstone River Picnic Area would also be widened to a 30-foot width. Both alternatives would reconfigure and expand the Yellowstone River Picnic Area and improve turnouts for vehicles along the road.

Construction would begin in the summer or fall of 2022 and continue through 2024, depending on funding availability.

If the proposed project is implemented, construction delays would vary by alternative. This could range from no delays up to 30-minute delays with occasional two to four-hour delays. There may be temporary closures, including regular nighttime closures, depending on the alternative. The public would be notified of closures in advance if they occur.

Comments must be received by March 15 and may be submitted online, by hand-delivery or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email or by any other means. 

Visit parkplanning.nps.gov/yrb to submit comments online. Hand-deliver comments during business hours to Albright Visitor Center, Attention: Yellowstone River Bridge Replacement, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. Mail comments to Compliance Office, Attention: Yellowstone River Bridge Replacement, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

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