Yellowstone road construction tour, July 16, 2010


As history is made second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day and well you get the idea history takes time and when it does it sometimes covers it up with the new. In this case, new is the necessary evil to cover the past glory of roads and bridges that millions of people have affectionately traveled in pursuit of the worlds most amazing wonderments such as Gibbon Falls.

Gibbon Falls located in Yellowstone National Park has been adored by millions because of its majestic size and beauty. You are left with amazement just at it’s sight and sounds of thunderous water cascading in a gigantic H2O free-for-all down it’s large rounded rock precipice finally crashing into the large pool at it’s base. Large trout in excess of 20 inches have been caught in the waters below.

Its size and beauty have attracted visitors from around the world, artists, photographers, videographers, hikers, sightseers, scientist, and sporting enthusiasts to name a few have trekked great distance to gaze at its majesty. Every year the crowds that visit Yellowstone Park grow setting attendance records even during tough economic times they still come to see and feel the thunder of the falls. Many of the visitors drive in with every seat filled and when they arrive finally at the falls they are faced with a reality many do not plan for, throngs of people. So many in fact that the Park Service has decided it had to improve the viewing area and roadways leading to and from the falls. HK Construction was selected to make the improvements and improve they have done.

Before the old roads and bridge are wiped away forever Gary Housley, Web Operations Director for Northern Broadcasting System took a little trip down to Yellowstone Park to photograph the project along the Gibbon Falls area. His guide was KT Chayse an HK Construction employee that drives truck for the company. KT works long days spraying water on dusty roads helping to keep the air clean and is Gary’s adopted mother. She makes the perfect guide. Be sure to view the photos in the gallery.

Replacing the old roads and nearby bridge was necessary and the improvments are significant, even beautiful. The viewing area has been greatly expanded. If you have visited the park befor you will notice that there is much more room than that of the old days. A wide two lane expertly graded road replaces the narrow pot hole riddled one of the past. The mountain that used to give you the feeling of getting pushed into the falls below has been blasted back opening up a new parking and lookout area. Large boulders and expertly hand chiseled stones line pathways leading to the spaciaous viewing area.  A monument is positioned in the center of the viewing area, at this time it’s face is smooth and without words yet it still speaks. The retaining wall has been repaired and expanded with fresh mortar and stone cut and laid down by a small group of Mexican migrant workers, well known in their own country for their great skill working with stone. They have also made rataining walls and decorated the new bridge nearby with large blocks of stone taken from the mountains blasted out rubble.

The falls remain the same, beyound mans ability to decribe but it’s so much fun trying. 

View the construction photos in our Gallery section of this web site. All photos are subject to copyright please do not copy or re-distribute them without permission.

Posted by Gary Housley

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