Cost of plowing Yellowstone's south entrance below estimate
The cost for WYDOT to plow 16 miles of the road from Flagg Ranch through Yellowstone National Park's south entrance was $57,200, $13,200 below the estimate of $70,400 the department made before the 15-day effort began.
Yellowstone's south gate opened to visitors on schedule May 10. All entrances to the park are now open.
Another WYDOT crew plowed 15 miles of the road between the park's east entrance and Fishing Bridge, finishing their work on April 17.
WYDOT's assistance was enlisted in helping open the Yellowstone roads that were closed over the winter after National Park Service officials announced they would begin their plowing efforts two weeks later than originally scheduled due to federal budget cuts, delaying the opening of the park.
Local businesses, organizations and government agencies in Jackson and Cody raised money to pay for the use of WYDOT's equipment to help clear the roads so the park could open on schedule, beginning with the east entrance on May 3.
The WYDOT plows encountered snow as deep as 6.75 feet in some areas, and blue ice four feet deep on the Lewis Falls Bridge.
Visitors line up to enter Yellowstone National Park's south gate on May 10.