Travelers on U.S. Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park should plan for 30-minute delays as the park’s pavement preservation plan is underway. Work is currently taking place between the park’s southern boundary and the Jackson Hole Airport, and will continue north to the South Gate of Yellowstone. Previous planned delays of 15-minutes have been increased for work and traffic efficiencies.
Grand Teton Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail said, “We recognize the impact that road work has on the community and park visitors, and appreciate the continued support. These improvements to park infrastructure will address a $6.8 million maintenance backlog that includes 67 miles of park road and three major parking areas.”
The daily average traffic between Jackson and the Jackson Hole Airport is more than 14,200 vehicles during the summer season. This traffic is more than some locations on the four-lane Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming.
Motorists should plan ahead for delays and reduce speeds in the work zone while the highway is limited to one lane of travel. Additionally, travelers are advised to drive slowly and maintain the recommended speed limit on chip seal pavement to reduce the risk of loose gravel damaging cars or windshields.
Road work will take place Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The work is weather and temperature dependent. The chip seal process requires warmer temperatures and minimum moisture for the seal to fully set. Recent weather conditions have proved challenging for construction work.
No road work will take place over the Independence Day Holiday, Wednesday afternoon through Sunday, July 3-7.
The repaving work on the parking lots at the Craig Thomas Discovery Visitor Center and Jenny Lake Visitor Center are expected to be completed this week. Work continues on the Colter Bay access road and will soon begin in the parking area.
Chip sealing is a cost-effective way to provide an improved road surface and preserve the underlying pavement.When proactive preventative maintenance activities are completed on park roads, more serious and costly damage to the pavement structure will be averted.
The work includes patching holes and sealing cracks in the pavement surface initially. A chip seal or micro seal will then be applied to the road surface, followed by a fog seal to reduce airborne gravel. Striping will be the final action.
Motorists will also begin seeing construction activity along Gros Ventre Road and north of Moran Junction as part of the preparation for the chip sealing process. Delays of up to 15 minutes should be anticipated. Once chip sealing gets underway, motorists should expect up to 30-minute delays at these locations.
Updated road status and conditions are available by calling the park road information line at 307-739-3682 and on the park’s website, Facebook and Twitter.
In addition to the pavement preservation work, the final phase of emergency repairs related to the June 2017 washout of the Gros Ventre Road will occur late this summer. Work is expected to begin in late July.