Preconstruction Work Starting On Scenic Loop At Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Senator Secured Funding, Interior Secretary’s Support To Repair Roadway Damaged By Erosion
February 26, 2020 | View PDF
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven announced that preconstruction work on the scenic loop at Theodore Roosevelt National Park will begin this month. On or around Feb. 20, an engineering firm contracted through the Department of Transportation will arrive at the Park to begin undergoing a geotechnical assessment. This work will comprise taking samples of clay to measure moisture levels, groundwater monitoring, mapping the land surface, and installing monitoring equipment to measure any movement under the roadway. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) determined that a comprehensive geotechnical assessment was necessary to ensure project safety and scope of repairs needed. The senator is pushing to get the assessment started and completed in a timely manner so that construction can start in mid-to late summer with the goal of providing access to the scenic loop by the end of the year.
Hoeven has been working to advance reconstruction of the road, a 28-mile loop that has been rendered unpassable due to erosion. The senator secured federal funding for the repairs, and hosted Interior Secretary David Bernhardt at the TRNP in October to secure his support for maintenance repairs at the park as well as the establishment of Theodore Roosevelt Library.
“Theodore Roosevelt National Park is an important contributor to our state’s economy, which is why we’ve worked to secure funding and support from the Interior Department to prioritize repairs to the scenic drive in the south unit,” said Hoeven. “This month, a geotechnical team will begin pre-construction work to ensure the ground is stable, which is an important step in rebuilding this road. We’ll continue working to ensure that the Interior Department begins construction as soon as possible.”
As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Hoeven has also worked to secure committee approval of the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation he helped introduce to address deferred maintenance at National Park Service (NPS) facilities. The bill would use 50% of the excess revenues from energy development on federal lands to create a NPS Legacy Restoration Fund to resolve the maintenance backlog, which includes more than $50 million of maintenance in North Dakota, mostly consisting of road repairs.