Beartooth Highway – Construction Updates

Beartooth Highway – Construction Updates

While Beartooth Highway construction projects may slow or delay travel time, completion of these projects will ensure the long term health of the Beartooth Highway keeping it open and safe for the thousands of visitors who enjoy it each year.  Your patience is appreciated, and we think you’ll find the Beartooth Highway construction site the most beautiful you’ve ever stopped at!

2014 Construction Information

Long Lake Bridge Replacement Project Update – 7/31/2014

Final phases of work to complete the Long Lake Bridge construction project will begin Friday, August 1, 2014 with work expected to last through mid-September, 2014

The Long Lake Bridge construction site is located 12 miles east of the intersection of the Beartooth Highway – US 212 and the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway Wyoming 296.

During the first three weeks of August travelers should expect delays of a MAXIMUM of 30 minutes at the construction site as backfilling operations are completed. Flaggers will be on-site to provide effective traffic control when lane closures are required. During the second phase of construction, mid-August through mid-September lane closures will be minimal with only intermittent delays expected.

More detailed information will be available as construction crews arrive on the Beartooth Highway to begin work and updates will be made available on the Beartooth Highway website at and on the Beartooth Highway Project Hotline – 888-285-4636.

The Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service would like to thank you for your patience as we improve the Beartooth Highway!

Construction Location

East to west travel – Red Lodge to Cooke City, MT
31.5 miles to construction site from Red Lodge

West to East travel – Cooke City to Red Lodge, MT
26 miles to construction site from Cooke City

Intersection US 212 – WY 296 Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
12 miles to construction site from intersection US 212 & WY 296

The project is expected to to be completed in early summer 2014. Construction updates distributed on Friday mornings throughout the travel season and posted to this website.The Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service would like to thank you for your patience as we improve the Beartooth Highway!

Heavy Equipment on the Highway

Visitors to the Cooke City area may encounter heavy equipment on the Beartooth Highway as the Montana Department of Environmental Quality works to complete a five-year, $24 million reclamation project for the McLaren Mine Mill just east of Yellowstone National Park. More information about the reclamation project can be found on-line at the Montana DEQ web site.

Did You Know?

Cooke City Montana - Beartooth Highway

The Cooke City cemetery is located only a short distance from town, adjacent to the Gallatin National Forest Service Campground. Within the plot lie the remains of many who cherished the hope for the future of Cooke City, including one of its founders, Horn Miller.   When lumber for coffins were needed, men of the community simply used parts of uninhabited buildings to construct the boxes.

Clay Butte Lookout - Beartooth Highway

The Clay Butte Lookout was built in 1942 by the Civilian Conservation Corps and was used as a fire lookout. It was staffed until the 1960s, when aircraft proved a better tool for fire detection. Today, because of its popular scenic vantage point and proximity to the Beartooth Highway, Clay Butte is used as a visitor information site. It was remodeled in 1962 and has been staffed since 1975 by volunteers. The focus of Clay Butte today is to give visitors a glimpse of how fire lookouts functioned 60 years ago. Sightseers driving the scenic byway stop to obtain information or take in the view, which includes wildlife, botanical areas, the effects of the Clover-Mist wildfire of 1988, and the geology of ancient seas that once covered the Beartooth Plateau.