New Opening Date Set For Old Gardiner Road in Yellowstone
Historic flooding earlier this year resulted in limited access to many areas of Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone National Park has been working with the Federal Highway Administration throughout the summer to restore access from Gardiner, MT to Mammoth Hot Springs via Old Gardiner Road.
According to a press release from YNP, Old Gardiner Road will open to regular traffic no later than Nov. 1, 2022. The two-lane project will be extended up to two weeks to ensure over 5,000 feet of guardrail are properly installed for traffic safety.
Here's what YNP Superintendent Cam Sholly said about the project:
We have set incredibly aggressive time frames for these repairs and our contractors have worked at lightning speed to get this road safely reopened. It's essential that we do not cut corners and we ensure the road meets required safety standards prior to opening. It's also essential that we finish the job correctly, so we avoid any problems going into next year.
Park officials determined that the Old Gardiner road was the best and only way to quickly reconnect Mammoth Hot Springs to Gardiner after the floods in mid-June.
The road was originally established as an 1880s stagecoach route, and the single-lane dirt road has since been expanded to two lanes over its 4-mile length.
Paving is expected to begin this week and nearly 1 mile of guardrail will be installed between Oct. 10 and Oct. 20. If the Old Gardiner Road is completed prior to Nov. 1, the park will open it to public travel sooner.
The Northeast Entrance Road (Tower Junction to the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City/Silver Gate) is expected to open as planned, on Oct. 15, to regular traffic.