Contractors removed and recycled the asphalt and repaired the surface of an 11-mile section of road between the Lewis River Bridge and the park’s South Entrance. Total cost of the project was nearly $1.2 million, coming from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Earlier in the year, the park completed a $37,000 Recovery Act funded project to replace a failing steam line used for heating historic structures at Park Headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs.
Yellowstone National Park is receiving $14,735,000 in Recovery Act funding for 14 separate projects.
Meanwhile, Park officials are planning to reconstruct a section of the road which links Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs. The project involves 15.4 miles of road from north of Norris Junction to Golden Gate.
Under consideration is a plan to split the work into two phases, with work on the first phase from north of Norris Junction to Obsidian Cliff proposed to start in 2012. A current road project underway south of Norris through Gibbon Canyon will be completed in 2010, well before the proposed start of this project.
The current road varies between 19 and 22 feet wide. The proposal is to reconstruct the road to the same standards and 30-foot width used on other recent projects on the park’s historic Grand Loop Road.
Realignment of some portions of the road may be considered in order to reduce impacts in known sensitive areas along the route. The project would also reconstruct parking areas, turnouts, and bridges. onstruction would result in some traffic delays but no road closures are anticipated.
The first step in the planning process is to solicit public input during what is known as the scoping period. This is the time when any interested individual, organization or agency can provide thoughtful, relevant information or suggestions for consideration by park managers before alternatives are developed and analyzed and an Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared and made available for public review and comment.
A brochure with information on some of the alternatives which might be considered in the EA, and an electronic form to submit comments on the internet can be found at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The brochure is also available by writing the Norris to Golden Gate Road Reconstruction Project, Compliance Office, P. O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Written comments may be submitted through the PEPC website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail. All public comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, August 19, 2009.
Photos courtesy of the National Park Service.