Traffic snarls are coming to parts of Yellowstone National Park on July 1, when road work is expected to begin in the Tower Junction and Canyon Village areas.
Park officials say the contract to reconstruct and widen a 2.5-mile stretch of road between Tower Junction and Tower Fall and reconstruct the Canyon Village parking lot has been awarded to HK Contractors, Inc., of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Also included will be the replacement of the Obsidian Creek Bridge at the Indian Creek Campground.
Expected closures/impacts with these projects include:
* Tower Road: Early July – mid-September, closed nightly 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Expect 30-minute delays during open hours. Mid-September – early November, full closure. Road closure points will be at Tower Junction next to the Roosevelt Corral and just north of Chittenden Road between Tower and Canyon Village. Overnight visitors in the Tower Fall campground will be allowed entry or exit during closure hours for an emergency situation only.
During closures, access to Mount Washburn via trail will still be available from the Chittenden Road and Dunraven Pass trailheads.
* Canyon Village Main Parking Area: Construction will occur in four sections -- one section at a time – in order to keep day-use parking available in the remaining three sections of the parking area serving the Visitor Education Center, lodge and stores. The entire parking lot (all four sections) will be closed nightly from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. All stores will remain open for business during their normal operating hours.
* Obsidian Creek Bridge (Indian Creek Campground): Construction will occur after the campground closes for the season September 4.
The Tower Road has not been reconstructed since 1939. Also included in this project will be the improvement of pullouts, major retaining wall repairs and the addition of ADA-accessible routes to viewpoints along the Calcite Springs overlook.
The current Canyon Village parking area is 55 years old. The historic Obsidian Creek Bridge was built in 1911. It is being redesigned to retain the character of the original bridge, while safely accommodating today’s modern recreational vehicles.
The Obsidian Creek Bridge project is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Tower and Canyon projects are expected to be completed by October 2013. A complete list of facility and road closures can be found on the web at this site.