4 months after raging floodwaters swept through Yellowstone National Park, forcing it to shut for about every week and chasing greater than 10,000 visitors to safety, the rebuilding will reach a milestone on Saturday because the park reopens its Northeast Entrance Road to vehicular traffic, the National Park Service said.
Five sections of the road were significantly damaged in June, when 4 days of record rainfall, combined with melting snow and warming temperatures, brought flooding and mudslides that tore out bridges and altered the course of rivers. Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana declared a statewide disaster.
The northern reaches of Yellowstone, which is the oldest national park in america, were hit the toughest.
Yellowstone’s superintendent, Cam Sholly, said he was thrilled to be reopening the northeast entrance, a vital gateway to the park. The completion of the work implies that 99 percent of the park’s roads at the moment are open.
“I commend the collective efforts of the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration and Oftedal Construction, Inc. to finish this monumental task in such a brief period of time,” Superintendent Sholly said in a news release.
The Park Service said there was one section of road near the favored trailhead to Trout Lake that also needed to be paved. Construction will probably be accomplished over the following 10 days, but traffic will probably be allowed in the world, though the Park Service warned of possible delays.
4 miles of paving and 5,000 feet of guardrail are also still being installed on Old Gardiner Road, which runs between Gardiner, Mont., and Mammoth Hot Springs. Wyo. The road is anticipated to open no later than Nov. 1, the Park Service said. A small section in Lamar Canyon will remain a paved, single-lane road through the winter season, and a short lived stoplight will probably be installed.
Tens of millions of tourists are drawn annually to the wilderness and energetic geysers in Yellowstone, which sprawls across greater than two million acres within the northwest corner of Wyoming, and into Montana and Idaho.
In 2021, greater than 4.8 million people visited Yellowstone. The park, which is especially popular in the summertime, was forced to shut its northeast entrance just because the tourism season was ramping up.