Construction crews are working on some major infrastructure projects in Grand Teton National Park. Visitors to the park will notice activity in the Moose and Pilgrim Creek areas as the park replaces major water and wastewater systems that have been operating for almost 60 years, and have exceeded the design life of the systems.
The most visible construction work of the fall is associated with upgrades to the water system that serves Moose and Beaver Creek. The contractor, RSCI Group of Boise, Idaho, and their subcontractor, Westwood Curtis Construction of Jackson, Wyoming, are replacing the water transmission line from its origin at Taggart Creek to Beaver Creek. Work will continue next spring with replacement of the transmission line from Beaver Creek to Moose, installation of water distribution lines at 4 Lazy F Ranch, and replacement of the water storage tank at Taggart Creek. The Moose water project will double the capacity of the system, reduce leaks in the water delivery system and improve fire suppression capabilities at the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, park headquarters, and other structures in Moose and Beaver Creek.
RSCI Group and Westwood Curtis are also doing preliminary work on the new Moose wastewater treatment plant. Visitors may notice clearing, excavation and foundation work, as well as materials staging for work that will begin next spring. The current treatment plant, which is only 200 feet from the Wild and Scenic Snake River, will eventually be demolished. The new plant will be constructed just northwest of the Moose Post Office and will be outside the 500-year floodplain, as well as meet water quality requirements.
Both of the Moose projects were approved in January 2013 after public review and comment in 2011 and 2012. The Moose water and wastewater project is a $12.5 million investment.
Work on a new water transmission line that supplies domestic and fire suppression water to Jackson Lake Lodge from Pilgrim Creek is also underway. The project, undertaken by Bairco Construction, Inc. of Lovell, Wyoming, will ultimately remove the Pilgrim Creek wells from the floodplain, a major advantage as annual spring runoff often threatens to flood the well houses and risks contamination of the water supply. The project will also bring the entire water supply system closer to the developed highway corridor, and remove the need for daily maintenance activity within 400 acres of valuable wildlife habitat. The $2.6 million project was approved in April 2015 after public review and comment in September 2014.
Visitors to the impacted areas may encounter trail reroutes. As always, visitors should be aware of their surroundings and follow posted signs and directions.