Tester Secures Major Grant to Complete Scenic Beartooth Highway Construction
Senator Announces TIGER Grant to Unlock Yellowstone National Park
(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $16 million to complete construction of the Beartooth Highway, unlocking access to Yellowstone National Park.
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Tester helped secure the funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
“The Beartooth Highway is the most scenic gateway to Yellowstone and draws tourists from around the globe who fuel Montana’s outdoor economy,” said Tester. “God doesn’t make places like this anymore and we ought to keep them accessible. Finishing construction ensures folks can continue to visit the picturesque park and enjoy some of the best hiking, biking, and fishing Montana has to offer.”
The grant will reconstruct 1.6 miles of Beartooth Highway, completing reconstruction of the full 67-mile stretch of road. The reconstructed segment of the scenic highway will include two three-foot shoulders on each side to accommodate bicyclists.
The Beartooth Highway provides a link between Yellowstone National Park and Montana communities like Red Lodge and Cooke City, whose businesses rely on tourists to eat at their restaurants and shop at their general stores.
“The Beartooth Highway is designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as an “All-American” road because it has one-of-a-kind features that do not exist elsewhere,” said Sherry Weamer, Director of the Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce. “The Highway is considered a destination unto itself and provides an exceptional travel experience connecting Yellowstone National Park, the country’s first, with Red Lodge. The reconstruction made possible by this grant award will improve the safety of the highway so that Montanans and visitors from all over the world can more easily access the Park from Red Lodge, thus strengthening local businesses and towns throughout Carbon County. Thank you to Senator Tester for his support to help secure the funding for this project.”
Last year, Tester called on Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to issue a TIGER grant to complete the construction project saying, “This spectacular access route draws families from across the globe and it provides a vital link for the communities of Red Lodge and Cooke City, Montana and Cody, Wyoming. Visitors marvel at the outstanding vistas along this picturesque highway.”
In addition, Tester has fought to keep Yellowstone National Park accessible, railing against proposals to double the entrance fee.