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Road Opening Takes More Than Plowing

March 29, 2013 Greater Yellowstone, State of Wyoming, Teton County No Comments
WYDOT Plow

Wyoming Department of Transportation plows will be starting to clear the road from the South Entrance of Yellowstone National Park into the park on Monday, April 8th.  That arrangement was made possible through funding by local travel and tourism interests.  Highway crews believe the job can be completed by May second – however, don’t look for the route to be opened immediately.  Park Spokesman Al Nash explains there are other considerations that need to be addressed to prepare for the public.  Historically says the opening date has been dependent upon the typical ability to get the roads, sides or roads, cleared pull-outs and the restrooms opened.  Consequently he says, it involves more than just clearing the two traffic lanes to open the road. Additionally, says Nash, the road itself needs to warm up and the sub-base dry out before it can accommodate volumes of traffic without incurring damage.  He says it is not like clearing the latest snowfall from a mountain road.  Nash says, “These roads have had snow accumulate on them through the winter. In addition, they’ve then been groomed and had the snow packed down on them in order to facilitate snowmobile and snow coach travel.” Regardless, Nash says the projected opening of South Entrance is the typical date for that entrance to the park to open for the season.  Meanwhile, East Entrance will open on its typical schedule May 3rd.  Both entrances had been slated to open two weeks later due to sequestration of funds delaying the plowing.  Meanwhile, Grand Teton National Park road crews will begin their annual spring plowing of the Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge on Monday, April first.

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