Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yellowstone’s North Entrance Plan Approved

A new plan designed to relieve traffic congestion and improve safety at Yellowstone National Park's historic North Entrance has been approved.

A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) allowing construction to begin on the Gardiner, Montana, North Entrance and associated Park Street infrastructure was signed by the National Park Service Intermountain Region Director October 13. An Environmental Assessment (EA) proposing three alternatives was released for public review and comment in July 2011.

Among the highlights of the approved preferred alternative:

• A new entrance station complex will be built to better facilitate entry into the park, allowing visitors the option of entering Yellowstone through the historic Roosevelt Arch or traveling over a new access road to bypass congestion.

• Expanded parking areas, crosswalks and walkways will be installed, protecting pedestrians, improving traffic circulation, and allowing better access to businesses along Park Street.

• The administrative road in front of the Gardiner Transportation Center will be moved to separate traffic from delivery vehicles and employee parking.

Improvements will be completed in phases during the early spring and late fall periods as funding becomes available to reduce the impact on day to day operations around the entrance.

Copies of the EA and the FONSI, along with several maps that illustrate details of the improvements are available on the National Park Service Planning, Environmental and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell.

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