Grand Teton Gets Go-Ahead on Transportation Corridors
In a decision that will delight some, and possibly anger others, the Park Service has given Grand Teton officials the go-ahead to build more than 40 miles of multi-use pathways through the park.
The work will be staged in phases, with planning and design for the first stretch --from Moose to South Jenny Lake-- scheduled to take place this year with construction to follow next year.
Twenty-three miles of pathways between the park's south boundary and String Lake Junction will be outside existing road corridors, while 16 miles of shoulder widening to create bike and pedestrian lanes will be built between North Jenny Lake Junction and Colter Bay. Another section of path, roughly 3 miles in length, will be installed along the Moose-Wilson Road from the Granite Canyon Entrance to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.
Additionally, two sections of the Moose-Wilson Road will be realigned to restore aspen and wetlands habitat.
Part of the program calls for monitoring of both wildlife and visitor use, with baseline studies to be conducted this summer. Along with installing the pathways, the project calls for a study to determine the viability of a sustainable public transit system in the park.
If you want to review the EIS and Record of Decision, click over to this site.
The entire project is estimated to cost $45 million, followed by annual operation and maintenance costs of $558,000. The construction funds for the first phase, expected to cost under $8 million for seven miles of path, are coming out of federal transportation act funding . Park officials hope additional transportation act funding will be available for future phases of the project.