Yellowstone National Park announced the reconstruction of the Yellowstone River Bridge. The bridge will cost an estimated $118 million and was funded by the Great American Outdoors Act.
In a recent press release, Yellowstone deemed the existing bridge “structurally deficient.” The press release also states that the bridge will preserve year-round access from Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana, located at the Northeastern entrance of the park.
An Idaho Falls company, HK Contractors, Inc., will perform the construction.
The new bridge will span more than twice the distance of the original bridge, totaling 1,285 feet. The project will add a new, mile-long segment of road leading up to the bridge, as well as new parking areas and pullouts.
The bridge will have a pedestrian path that will improve access to existing trails, viewpoints and fishing spots. There are also plans to expand the Yellowstone River Picnic Area.
“We greatly appreciate the support in getting this major project funded,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly. “This has been one of our highest deferred maintenance priorities for years and will help ensure safe visitor and community access within the northeast corridor.”
The Great American Outdoors Act provides funding for the improvement of infrastructure in America’s national parks. Funded by revenue from energy development, the bill provides the National Park Service with $1.3 billion per year for five years.
Yellowstone reports approximately $1 billion in deferred maintenance and repairs. Park officials expect this project to bring that number down by about $39 million. According to the park’s press release, Yellowstone will still need over $450 million worth of road repairs in the near future.