Categories: EnvironmentalNews

Yellowstone seeking public comment on Yellowstone River Bridge replacement

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY  — 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 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 concrete deck, sidewalks, and parapets have deteriorated.

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

In Alternative A (no action), the bridge would remain in its existing condition. Alternative B (the 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 will 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 will 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 to up to 30 minutes 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, 2020. Comments may be submitted online, by hand-delivery, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or by any other means.

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.

Public Comment Considerations
Bulk comments in any format submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

Before including your address, phone number, email, or other personal information, be aware that your entire comment – including your personally identifiable information – may be made public at any time.

You may ask Yellowstone to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, but it is not guaranteed that the park will be able to do so.

The proposed project is an undertaking as outlined under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (36 CFR § 800). We welcome comments about historic properties or other cultural resources that fall within the project area.

The park is also completing compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for this project and is consulting with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office on the proposed design.

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