$27 Million Beartooth Highway Project Begins This Summer
Written by andrew-rossi on April 9, 2020
A 1 mile, 27-million-dollar road project is moving forward on the Beartooth Highway.
WYDOT is ready to begin the rather intensive task of completing the 420-foot, 3-span Beartooth Ravine steel girder bridge, 20-foot-high mechanically stabilized earth retaining walls, and roadwork and landscaping to tie into that portion of U.S. Highway 212. This particular project required intense fundraising efforts on WYDOT’s part, and the cost is being covered through the cooperation of several agencies: $16.6 million from a 2017 TIGER , or Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, $9.3 million from WYDOT federal funds, $1 million from Yellowstone National Park, and the rest reallocated from closed-out federal lands projects.
The rehabilitation of the Beartooth Highway has been an ongoing WYDOT project since the 1970s. The construction of Beartooth Ravine bridge will improve the safety of both drivers and wildlife, and improve wildlife connectivity through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. According to WYDOT Chief Engineer Shelby Carlson, quote “The project will improve safety by improving alignment to lessen or eliminate dangerous curves, widen the highway across the bridge by adding shoulders, and allow under-structure crossing routes for grizzly bear and other large ungulates, including elk and moose.” Unquote.
WYDOT is one of many agencies that makes up the Beartooth Steering Committee, which monitor and maintain the Beartooth Highway. This multi-million-dollar effort is one that they and all future travelers with savor for years to come.