JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has approved a plan to install a 172-foot-long steel bridge to span the Yellowstone River in a northwest Wyoming wilderness area.

The new bridge in the Teton Wilderness in the Bridger-Teton National Forest would replace another known locally at the Hawks Rest bridge, which is 57 years old.

District Ranger Todd Stiles says that the current bridge is unsafe.

The bridge is considered a critical link along the most-used trail in the Teton Wilderness.

But critics say the new steel bridge will degrade the character of the wilderness. They proposed either replacing it with a packable bridge or having no bridge at all.

Officials hope the new bridge can be installed next year.