Shoshone National Replaces Bridge Thru Great American Outdoors Act
Written by Andrew-Rossi on July 11, 2021
Wyoming residents can savor the first fruits of the Great American Outdoors Act, as Shoshone National Forest fully replaces a 15-year-old trail bridge.
Shoshone National Forest has completed its first project with funds provided thru the Great American Outdoors Act.
An existing bridge – which forest officials say has been “unserviceable” for over 15 years – has been removed and completed replaced. The bridge is located on the Yellowstone Trail near Brooks Lake, a popular trail for outdoor recreation on the Wind River Ranger District outside Dubois.
In addition to Shoshone National Forest staff, this project was made possible by collaboration with the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, Wyoming State Trails, and Brooks Lake Lodge.
New timber and foundation materials and reclaimed road bridge materials were transported to the site to construct a new bridge. Over six days, four Forest Service recreation trail technicians constructed the new bridge at a new location near the original.
In addition, the bridge’s replacement allowed for the restoration of a nearby stream that had been adversely affected by the original bridge’s construction. As a result, forest Service engineers and hydrologists decided upon a new location for the bridge and restored the stream.
Thanks to the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act in 2020, over $285 million is available to the Forest Service for critical infrastructure improvements. $31.5 million was committed to the Rocky Mountain Region, which includes national forests in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
“I am very pleased to see much-needed trail work being completed thanks to the funding we have received through the Great American Outdoors Act,” said Shoshone National Forest Supervisor Lisa Timchak. “The replacement of this old bridge is a prime example of how we are utilizing Great American Outdoors Act funds to improve public access and expand recreation opportunities while reducing safety concerns on the Shoshone National Forest.”
Funds from the Great American Outdoors Act will improve several visitor amenities like this bridge throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.
Other infrastructure projects funded thru the Great American Outdoors Act are already underway. For example, Yellowstone National Park is currently undertaking a restoration of historic Fort Yellowstone buildings located at Mammoth Hot Springs.
The following projects have been identified as projects that will be undertaken using funds from the Great American Outdoors Act in Shoshone National Forest:
- Re-establishing and rehabilitating the trail tread along the entire length of the Fishhawk Trail, which was damaged in the 2019 Fishhawk Fire. The trail is currently closed for safety.
- Conducting deferred maintenance on the North Fork Trail, which provides access to the popular Cirque of the Towers climbing venue. This trail is one of only a few popular portals accessing the internationally acclaimed Cirque of the Towers.
- Finishing the final phase of the ongoing stabilization and preservation of the historic Anderson Lodge. Work includes improving structural integrity and reducing deferred maintenance. Anderson Lodge was utilized as the first administrative headquarters of the Yellowstone Forest Reserve (ca. 1902) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation efforts started in 2017 in partnership with HistoriCorps and the Park County Historic Preservation Commission.
- Repairing Clay Butte Road (Forest Road 142) and Parque Creek Road (Forest Road 504), which were damaged in landslides.
- Replacing worn and damaged signboards at Dead Indian and Lake Creek campgrounds along the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.
- Replacing fencing with buck and pole materials at Horse Creek and Double Cabin campgrounds.
- Removing an unserviceable 30-foot footbridge and packing hardware out of the Down Fork wilderness area.