The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, is planning to reconstruct a segment of the East Entrance Road from Fishing Bridge to Indian Pond within the eastern portion of Yellowstone National Park. The project would reconstruct the road, associated parking areas and turnouts, and Pelican Creek Bridge. Fishing Bridge will also be considered for rehabilitation or replacement.
This segment of the park’s road system is in an advanced state of deterioration and has seen a substantial increase in vehicle use since the 1980’s. The road also includes areas that do not meet modern engineering safety standards. Pelican Creek Bridge and Fishing Bridge, built in the 1930s, are beyond their design life and are in need of replacement or rehabilitation. Two alternatives currently being considered:
- No Action Alternative – Periodic maintenance would be performed to maintain the road and bridges as much as possible. Road, bridges, and parking areas would remain unchanged and would continue to deteriorate.
- Build Alternative – Reconstructs the road from the Fishing Bridge area to Indian Pond to a consistent 30 foot width (11 foot travel lanes and four foot shoulders) consistent with the 24 miles already reconstructed. Reconstructs the General Store parking area, repaves the visitor center parking area, and constructs a turn lane within the Fishing Bridge developed area. This alternative also explores four options for the bridges including: no repairs and implement vehicle weight and speed restrictions; heavy rehabilitation; replace the bridge(s) on current alignment; or replace the bridges(s) on a new alignment.
The park is reaching out to the public, asking them to share their comments, concerns, and ideas which will be used to aid in the development of a range of alternatives as part of the preparation of an Environmental Assessment in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
Public comments must be received by March 15, 2016. Please submit your comments online at the National Park Service Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/FBIP.
If you are unable to submit your comments online through the website, you may submit written comments to: Fishing Bridge to Indian Pond Road Reconstruction; Yellowstone National Park Attn: Compliance Office; P.O. Box 168; Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190. You may also hand deliver written comments to the Albright Visitor Center at Yellowstone National Park.