VICTOR, Idaho – Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF) is seeking the public’s feedback on its Mike Harris Campground Bridge Replacement Project.

Teton Basin Ranger District of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, based in Driggs, ID has proposed to replace a single-lane bridge constructed in 1965 that provides access from Idaho State Highway 33/ Wyoming Highway 22 to the Mike Harris Campground with an appropriate width, two-lane bridge. This project will occur south of the town of Victor, ID. Along ID-33, near the Wyoming state line.

“This bridge replacement will aid in meeting current recreation demand and addressing potential safety concerns,” said CTNF.

The single-lane bridge was originally constructed in 1965 with the purpose of providing access to the Mike Harris campground. It was designed to meet the demands of the recreating population that existed in 1965.

CTNF attributed the need for a replacement to population growth and an increase in outdoor recreation in the area.

“58 years later the Teton Valley community has seen exponential and record-setting population growth. Outdoor recreation has reached a level of popularity that has not previously existed and resulted in greater demand for outdoor recreation resources.”

Caribou-Targhee National Forest

In 2019 and 2020, Mike Harris Campground was reconstructed and expanded to provide greater opportunities for camping and sites specifically designed for larger trailers and RVs that are common today.

Following that project, Mike Harris campground now provides 40% of the ranger district’s RV visits and 45% of the district’s total campground visits. Four other campgrounds offer the remainder of the campground opportunity.

According to CTNF, the Mike Harris area has the potential for more development and greater opportunities for RV camping. However, these improvements cannot be considered until the bridge access to the campground area is functional for the type and number of recreational visitors, according to the Forest.

“Recreational vehicles and trailers are larger than ever. Traffic along ID-33 and WY-22 has increased exponentially, often resulting in summer traffic congestion. Camping and recreating in the Mike Harris area and at Mike Harris campground has increased significantly in the past four years.”

CTNF cites all of these factors as reasoning to replace the 14’ wide, single-lane bridge that provides access to this popular recreation area in with a two-lane bridge.

The agency is seeking public input on all aspects of the proposal in order to analyze impacts and decide whether to approve the plans in whole or in part. Comments can be made on this post. Written comments can also be sent to Bolling, c/o Jay Pence, Teton Basin District Ranger, P.O. Box 777, Driggs, ID 83401.

Buckrail @ Caroline

Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter. She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.