A plan to rebuild a small bridge across Isa Lake at Craig Pass — on the Continental Divide — has been approved after an environmental review.Reconstruction of the bridge, which spans a section of the road connecting West Thumb and Old Faithful, is needed to bring the structure up to current design standards, improve safety, increase vehicle load capacity and preserve the historic integrity of the bridge. Improvements will also be made to adjacent parking and pullout areas to help maintain visitor access on this section of the Grand Loop Road into the future.
A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) allowing the existing Isa Lake Bridge to be removed and a bridge of similar appearance on the existing alignment to be reconstructed was signed by the National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director, May 23, 2013. An Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzed two alternatives was released for public review and comment March 14, 2013.
Among the highlights of the approved reconstruction plan:
- During bridge reconstruction, the road will remain open via a temporary bridge spanning Isa Lake to the north of the existing bridge.
- The existing parking area and pullouts will be repaired. One handicapped accessible parking space will be created.
- New curb logs will be installed.
- The existing kiosk structure will be rehabilitated.
The project will proceed when funding becomes available through the Federal Lands Highway Program and will take approximately two years to complete.
Image courtesy National Park Service.