Tester Secures $118 Million for Yellowstone River Bridge Replacement
Funding comes from the Senator’s Great American Outdoors Act
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that he secured $118 million through his bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) to replace the structurally deficient Yellowstone River Bridge in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park.
“I’ll take on anyone to defend our public lands so that they’re still around for our kids and grandkids,” said Tester. “That’s why I’m proud to have helped secure this funding to replace the Yellowstone River Bridge, which will improve safety and ensure folks can enjoy the park for years to come. I’ll always fight to invest in our public lands to create good-paying jobs, support Montana’s booming tourism industry, preserve our great outdoors, and keep Montana the Last Best Place.”
The Yellowstone River Bridge replacement will preserve year-round public access to and from the park’s Northeast Entrance and communities of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Montana.
A new 1,285-foot-long, 175-foot-high steel girder bridge upstream will replace the existing 604-foot-long bridge, built in 1963. Additionally, GAOA funding will help construct approximately one mile of new road to line up with the replacement bridge location. New pullouts, paved parking areas, and dedicated pedestrian route across the new bridge will increase access to trails, fishing, and viewpoints. Construction will also enlarge the popular Yellowstone River Picnic Area to accommodate increased visitor use. Once complete, the existing road segment and bridge will be removed, and the area rehabilitated.
A longtime public lands advocate, Tester has long fought to secure funding to improve access, make infrastructure improvements, and preserve Montana’s outdoor heritage. He championed the GAOA, legislation that secures permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually and allocates $9.5 billion to address maintenance backlogs on public lands across the United States.
Tester secured $916 million in funding for Yellowstone National Park to recover from last summer’s historic flooding, and was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for this funding. Tester also led the charge to secure $3 million in funding from the Federal Highway Administration through the FHWA Emergency Relief Program to repair roads and highways affected by flooding in Yellowstone National Park.