Wyoming’s Beartooth Highway Bridge Is Finally Done
It took a long time and there were lots of difficulties.
Yellowstone's Beartooth Highway Bridge is done.
It took over three years to complete.
Building something at 9,000 feet is hard enough.
That altitude brings extra snow and a very short construction season.
Materials had to be hauled in from a long way off and all the way the heck up there.
We can expect to see a ceremony in September to dedicate the structure.
There are two typical announcements about Beartooth highway every year.
One when they close it for the winter and one when they open it.
It's usually the first road in Wyoming close and the last to open.
Beartooth Highway runs 68 miles from Red Lodge to Cooke City and the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
The climb is an impressive 11,000 feet along the way as it crosses from Montana into Wyoming and back.
“The Beartooth Highway, in my opinion, is the best drive in North America,” said Cody Beers of the Wyoming Department of Transportation. “That road benefits communities in Montana and Wyoming, and tourism is our No. 2 business in Wyoming.”
So let's add up the bill and see what all of this costs.
$15.9 million in grants.
$31.2 million on the bid for the 1.6-mile segment.
“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,” said WYDOT Chief Engineer Shelby Carlson in a statement.
Beartooth Highway originally began construction in the 1930s. Upgrades continued through the 1970s.