Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tower, Canyon Area Road Projects Scheduled for Summer

Road and parking area improvement projects in Yellowstone National Park's Tower Junction and Canyon Village areas are scheduled to begin the first week of July, though little impact is expected on park visitors enjoying the summer season.

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 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 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 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 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 park website. Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117.

Hiking in Glacier.com

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