Yellowstone National Park is preparing a plan to reconstruct the historic Isa Lake Bridge at Craig Pass.
Located at the continental divide, the 70-year-old bridge spans Isa Lake on the road connecting Old Faithful and West Thumb. A September 2010 inspection report prepared by the Federal Highway Administration determined the structure is in poor condition and recommended replacement.
Yellowstone is considering a reasonable range of preliminary alternatives, including the complete reconstruction of the bridge. The new bridge would be designed to meet modern traffic safety requirements and would retain the historic character of the existing bridge. Parking areas and pullouts near the bridge would also be repaved. During reconstruction, the road would remain open via a temporary bridge spanning Isa Lake.
The first step in preparing a plan and Environmental Assessment is to ask the public to help identify issues or concerns that the park staff should consider. This process, known as public scoping, is now open and runs through August 24.
A scoping newsletter with a more detailed overview of the plan, along with instructions on how to submit comments can be found online at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/yell. A hard copy of the newsletter can also be requested by calling (307) 344-2017, or by writing to the Isa Lake Bridge Reconstruction Plan, Attention: Compliance Office, National Park Service, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Suggestions and concerns may be submitted through the Web site, in person or by mail, and must be received or postmarked by midnight MST, August 24. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail, and submitted responses may be made publicly available at any time.