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Milestone reached in park snow plowing

Milestone reached in park snow plowing

Apr 18, 2013 - By Mead Gruver, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A public-private effort to plow roads in Yellowstone National Park and open up two of the park's entrances on time this spring despite federal budget cuts reached a milestone Wednesday with state and federal road crews meeting up on the park's East Entrance Road.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation crews spent 11 days plowing westward from the East Entrance. They met Yellowstone crews plowing eastward about 15 miles inside the park gate, according to department spokesman Cody Beers.

"It went really well. Our people were dedicated to it, they enjoyed the effort, and we're pleased the Park Service was able to meet us," Beers said.

Plenty of work remains. Enough snow needs to be cleared for two lanes of traffic, plus extra room on the shoulders for motorists to pull over and turn around.

Also, parking areas and driveways for park installations still need to be cleared. For all of those reasons, the East Entrance is not scheduled to open until May 3.

The plowing by the state crews is funded by $100,000 raised by the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and $71,000 from the town of Jackson.

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