Yellowstone Announces Initial $50 Million to Rebuild After Flooding
According to a press release, National Park Service Director Chuck Sams and Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly announced $50 million for park recovery efforts.
Following the massive flooding that Yellowstone experienced last week, a lot of roads and bridges across the park have been destroyed, leading to the need for a large number of repairs by Wyoming, Montana, and federal agencies.
The $50 million will be used to restore temporary access to Gardiner and Cooke City, Montana, and other sites, with additional details on access to be announced at some point in the coming weeks.
The release also states that plans are being finalized for improving the Old Gardiner Road for temporary access between Yellowstone and Gardiner.
Materials from scheduled repairs for a 22-mile stretch between the Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and West Thumb Geyser Basin will be diverted to the Old Gardiner Road project.
The National Park Service (NPS) believes Old Gardiner Road will be improved and permanent reconstruction options are being developed, with both said to be completed in the upcoming months, though a definitive timeline has not been established.
As work proceeds through the summer, the NPS will look for opportunities to restore limited visitor access at the park’s North Entrance.
The NPS is working with the Federal Highway Administration on temporary and permanent options to restore access to Silver Gate and Cooke City at the park’s northeast entrance, as currently, the Northeast Entrance Road is impassible between Lamar Valley and Silver Gate.
The release states that cost, funding, and timelines are not yet available for the short or long-term repairs to the Northeast Entrance Road but will be released as soon as possible.
Accessible areas include Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village, and Norris.
Yellowstone is also instituting a license plate system to lower the number of visitors that are let into the park each day, with plates that end in odd numbers allowed on odd days and even numbers allowed on even days.