If it’s summer in Yellowstone National Park, it’s time to plan your routes partially based on the road closures.
For 2009, the road closure to worry about is a doozy: the rebuilding and rerouting of a segment of the park’s Grand Loop Road between Madison and Norris through Gibbon Canyon. It is one of the most-travelled sections of the Grand Loop, providing the route between Mammoth and Old Faithful. And it’s targeted for construction this summer
Visitors can expect up to 30-minute delays on the road through the Gibbon Canyon throughout the summer. This section of road will also be closed to travel between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. every night from May 26 through August 16. There will be no construction delays or night-time closures during the Memorial Day and Independence Day holiday weekends.
This section of road will be completely closed to all travel between Artists Paint Pots and the Tuff Cliff Picnic Area beginning August 17. The closure is needed in order to remove an existing bridge and build a new span across the Gibbon River. This section of road will remain closed until it reopens to snowmobile and snowcoach travel in December. That means you will need to drive all the way around Lake and Canyon to get to Mammoth Hot Springs from Old Faithful during the end of the season.
Park staff will provide additional details and answer questions about this and other road projects at a series of public meetings scheduled for May in the following communities:
Cooke City: Monday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m., at the Fire Hall.
Jackson: Tuesday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m., at the Teton County Library at 125 Virginian Lane.
Bozeman: Wednesday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m., in the Conference Room of the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Region 3 offices at 1400 South 19th Avenue.
Gardiner: Thursday, May 14 at 1:00 p.m., in the conference room of the Yellowstone Association headquarters on West Park Street near the Roosevelt Arch.
West Yellowstone: Thursday, May 14 at 7:00 p.m., in the Community Room of the West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center at 30 Yellowstone Avenue.
Billings: Monday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m., at Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Region 5 Offices at 2300 Lake Elmo Drive.
Red Lodge: Tuesday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m., at the Elks Lodge at 114 N. Broadway Avenue.
Cody: Wednesday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 1338 Rumsey Avenue.