Photo of a major roadway failure on the South Unit Loop Road in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Repair Scenic Loop Road Segment

Theodore Roosevelt National Park » Repair Scenic Loop Road Segment » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) proposed to reconstruct portions of Scenic Loop Drive (also known as Loop Road) in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (the park). Scenic Loop Drive is one of the oldest sections of road in the South Unit; however, large-scale rehabilitation work has not been performed on the road in 20 years. During previous maintenance and repair efforts, subgrade and stormwater management issues were identified but were not fully addressed. As a result, areas of the road have succumbed to landslides and other damage over time.

The project will reconstruct approximately 6.15 miles of Scenic Loop Drive (between mile marker 22 and mile marker 28) to provide long-term, sustainable access for future visitor use. The project will also include improvements to pullouts and parking areas along the road.

The purpose of the project is to restore access to park resources in the South Unit by providing a stable and more sustainable roadway that addresses visitor and staff safety, enhances the visitor's experience, improves efficiencies in park operations, and minimizes impacts on natural and cultural resources. The project is needed because the existing drainage system cannot convey stormwater runoff from the road surface effectively, resulting in unstable slopes that have damaged pavement along Scenic Loop Drive and caused partial or total closures. These road closures have adversely affected visitor enjoyment of the area and the park's ability to provide visitor services because portions of the road are currently unstable, inaccessible, and unsafe.

The park considered two alternatives: the no-action alternative and one action alternative (proposed action).

1. Under the No-Action Alternative, the approximately 6.15-mile section of Scenic Loop Drive would remain closed to visitors, erosion would continue to worsen the condition of the roadway, and structural and accessibility issues would remain. This alternative would not relieve the risk of future roadway failures.

2. The proposed action (Selected Alternative) will address multiple roadway problem areas along Scenic Loop Drive by reconstructing approximately 6.15 miles of road for longevity and resilience. This includes specific treatment options for repairing each section of the road to address existing problems. These treatment options are based on existing data, geological and soil studies, field exploration, survey and mapping of surface features, groundwater and hydraulics analyses, geotechnical back-analysis, and stability analyses. All proposed treatment options will occur within the project area, with possible exceptions for stormwater drainage requirements. The selected alternative also includes landslide mitigation and minimization measures, such as stabilization, that would protect natural aesthetics and reduce environmental impacts.

The Park developed an EA and issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). To access these documents, please click on the "Document List".