AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules to ensure post quality. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming  (Read 17396 times)

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3371
  • Location: Los Angeles/OKC
  • Last Login: Today at 08:53:43 PM
I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« on: January 31, 2022, 05:48:26 PM »

WYDOT proposing an approx 100 mile, 6 billion dollar route of I-80 along US-30 from Walcott to Laramie.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/01/30/wydot-proposes-reroute-of-i-80-to-avoid-winter-closures/

How likely is this to happen?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2022, 10:35:22 PM by andy3175 »
Logged

US 41

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1881
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Terre Haute, IN
  • Last Login: April 15, 2023, 08:44:26 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2022, 06:16:33 PM »

I'm a truck driver and I-80 by Elk Mountain is always super windy. US 30 is slightly better because it's farther away from the mountain range, but they often close 30 to trucks due to the wind as well.

No joke I was stuck in Rawlins for 3 days in late December due to the wind and snow. Wyoming weather is just terrible. I ended up driving up to Casper and taking 20 across Nebraska as that route finally was clear and didn't have 60+ mph wind gusts. 30 and 80 were both closed.

On the way out there to Utah I had to take 230 and 130 (which barely goes into CO) to get from Laramie to Rawlins due to the wind.
Logged
Visited States and Provinces:
USA (48)= All of Lower 48
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PEI, QC
Mexico (9)= BCN, BCS, CHIH, COAH, DGO, NL, SON, SIN, TAM

SkyPesos

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4883
  • Age: 20
  • Location: Cincinnati, OH/Lafayette, IN
  • Last Login: Today at 01:46:44 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2022, 07:21:26 PM »

Can someone explain the weather situation to me? The elevation seems to be less than I-70 between Grand Junction and Denver, so how come it needs a reroute when I-70 probably deals with bad weather/road closures even more?

davewiecking

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 712
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Bethesda, MD
  • Last Login: Today at 07:56:08 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2022, 07:44:15 PM »

WYDOT proposing an approx 100 mile, 6 billion dollar route of I-80 along US-30 from Walcott to Laramie.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/01/30/wydot-proposes-reroute-of-i-80-to-avoid-winter-closures/

How likely is this to happen?

According to the quoted WYDOT Director, the odds are ď very, very, very, very small.Ē But itís an interesting idea. Locals who were aware of the wind conditions believe Uncle Sam made the wrong decision when they didnít follow US-30 originally, instead opting for a more scenic route.
Logged

Ketchup99

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 638
  • Screw the grid, we're just special like that

  • Age: 19
  • Location: State College, PA / Pittsburgh, PA
  • Last Login: May 15, 2023, 09:38:40 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2022, 07:46:58 PM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
Logged

Henry

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 7850
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Chicago, IL/Seattle, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 11:12:18 PM
    • Henry Watson's Online Freeway
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2022, 08:11:12 PM »

Needless to say, that ship has sailed. Of all the places to build on top of an existing US highway, this should've been one, and since the townspeople along US 30 protested against the current mountain route and lost, talk about a golden opportunity sorely missed. This routing would be perfect for an alternate-reality Interstate system where most, if not all, of the unbuilt routes were completed as planned.
Logged
Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Cubs are gonna win today!

US 89

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5826
  • 189 to Evanston

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Last Login: Today at 08:39:06 PM
    • Utah Highways
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2022, 09:55:35 PM »

Can someone explain the weather situation to me? The elevation seems to be less than I-70 between Grand Junction and Denver, so how come it needs a reroute when I-70 probably deals with bad weather/road closures even more?

I-80 is probably a less reliable route over the Rockies in winter than I-70. The problem isn't snow or elevation. It's wind.

Southern Wyoming is a relatively flat place which makes it especially prone to strong winds. It might snow more on 70 than it does on 80, but the snow on 80 is often accompanied by stiff winds that blow and drift it around and make it almost impossible to clear. This can be a problem anytime there is snow on the ground even if it's not falling from the sky. There are multiple sets of snow gates on mainline I-80 across the state for this reason.

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.

I-80 across Wyoming definitely deserves its freeway status. There may not be a lot of population along the route but there are a metric shitton of trucks and traffic counts are pretty decent by rural western standards.

JREwing78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1534
  • Location: Janesville, WI
  • Last Login: Today at 09:58:14 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2022, 11:54:16 PM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch?

Is that a pressing need? From the standpoint of traffic management, is US-30 in any danger whatsoever of becoming overloaded, even during a closure of I-80?

More to the point - what are the conditions that would make the existing US-30 NOT viable as an alternative route? Its posted speed limit (70 mph) is well higher than what reasonable people would be traveling at in inclement weather. The lanes are standard 12 foot lanes with wide shoulders, and periodic passing lane sections. There is also a fairly long 4-lane divided stretch between Rock River and Bosier.

Honestly, the only problems with US-30 is that it is 16 additional miles, and services are more limited on the stretch compared to I-80. WYDOT doesn't need to drop a bunch of cash on a twinning that's not going to get used more than a handful of times per year. As US 41 mentioned, weather conditions that shut down I-80 frequently will also shut down US-30.
Logged

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3371
  • Location: Los Angeles/OKC
  • Last Login: Today at 08:53:43 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2022, 09:57:29 AM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
What about twinning it and using one side as a pedestrian/bike path until I-80 is shut down and then is switched to car traffic only? That would be reasonable.
Logged

US 89

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5826
  • 189 to Evanston

  • Location: Tallahassee, FL
  • Last Login: Today at 08:39:06 PM
    • Utah Highways
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2022, 10:00:42 AM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
What about twinning it and using one side as a pedestrian/bike path until I-80 is shut down and then is switched to car traffic only? That would be reasonable.

Yeah, for the 18 people that would use that bike path over the course of a year...

TXtoNJ

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 860
  • Last Login: May 29, 2023, 02:35:03 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2022, 10:23:12 AM »

Can someone explain the weather situation to me? The elevation seems to be less than I-70 between Grand Junction and Denver, so how come it needs a reroute when I-70 probably deals with bad weather/road closures even more?

I-80 is probably a less reliable route over the Rockies in winter than I-70. The problem isn't snow or elevation. It's wind.

Southern Wyoming is a relatively flat place which makes it especially prone to strong winds. It might snow more on 70 than it does on 80, but the snow on 80 is often accompanied by stiff winds that blow and drift it around and make it almost impossible to clear. This can be a problem anytime there is snow on the ground even if it's not falling from the sky. There are multiple sets of snow gates on mainline I-80 across the state for this reason.

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.

I-80 across Wyoming definitely deserves its freeway status. There may not be a lot of population along the route but there are a metric shitton of trucks and traffic counts are pretty decent by rural western standards.

The weather is also worse because the elevation relative to the Gulf of Mexico gently lifts, rather than sharply as in the Colorado Rockies. This allows snowy weather driven by Gulf moisture to spread over a much broader area than the Rockies, where it will slam against the Front Range then exhaust itself.

The I-80 route close to a sharper uplift enhances this precipitative effect.
Logged

triplemultiplex

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3726
  • "You read it; you can't unread it!"

  • Location: inside the beltline
  • Last Login: Today at 04:24:54 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2022, 11:07:14 AM »

WYDOT proposing an approx 100 mile, 6 billion dollar route of I-80 along US-30 from Walcott to Laramie.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/01/30/wydot-proposes-reroute-of-i-80-to-avoid-winter-closures/

How likely is this to happen?

Good lord what a potential waste of resources.  They better drug test this dude proposing this.
All for what? One or two fewer days I-80 is closed per winter?  DUMB!

Look I get that southern Wyoming is a physical and cultural moonscape and I'd hate for people to have to spend any more time there than they have to as much as the next person, but come on.

I'll try and remember this story the next time something comes up about a goofy infrastructure idea in California or New York as proof no region has a monopoly on batshit.
Logged
"That's just like... your opinion, man."

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 12381
  • Last Login: Today at 10:16:18 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2022, 02:17:27 PM »

WYDOT proposing an approx 100 mile, 6 billion dollar route of I-80 along US-30 from Walcott to Laramie.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/01/30/wydot-proposes-reroute-of-i-80-to-avoid-winter-closures/

How likely is this to happen?

Good lord what a potential waste of resources.  They better drug test this dude proposing this.
All for what? One or two fewer days I-80 is closed per winter?  DUMB!

Look I get that southern Wyoming is a physical and cultural moonscape and I'd hate for people to have to spend any more time there than they have to as much as the next person, but come on.

I'll try and remember this story the next time something comes up about a goofy infrastructure idea in California or New York as proof no region has a monopoly on batshit.
It's more than a couple of days out of the winter that it gets closed down and even then, high wind advisories are even more common.

Just drove it a couple of weeks ago.  Wyoming needs to do a better job with VMS messaging, where drivers could get confused if the closures pertain to them or not.  I saw VMSes that said the entire interstate was closed and then others that said just closed to high profile vehicles...not sure what constituted a high profile vehicle (did my BIL's U-Haul?).

Anyway, if the US 30 route greatly (<--keyword) reduced the wind issue. I'd be all for its development.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

ski-man

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 75
  • Location: Wyoming
  • Last Login: Today at 02:26:22 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2022, 03:14:17 PM »

Living in Laramie, and from my conversations, many times when I-80 is closed to all vehicles, not just high profile / light weight trucks, US-30 is also closed as to not overload a road that is only two lanes for about 3/4 of the distance from Laramie to Wolcott Jct. There are A LOT of trucks on this stretch as it is a better route to the west coast than 70, and if I-80 is closed due to wind or winter conditions, US 30 will get some, just not as bad. Combine the conditions on a two lane road with a lot of cross-country semis, and that road can be a parking lot as well with icy spots to boot.
Logged

Rick Powell

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 749
  • Last Login: Today at 12:59:28 AM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2022, 06:16:24 PM »

Living in Laramie, and from my conversations, many times when I-80 is closed to all vehicles, not just high profile / light weight trucks, US-30 is also closed as to not overload a road that is only two lanes for about 3/4 of the distance from Laramie to Wolcott Jct. There are A LOT of trucks on this stretch as it is a better route to the west coast than 70, and if I-80 is closed due to wind or winter conditions, US 30 will get some, just not as bad. Combine the conditions on a two lane road with a lot of cross-country semis, and that road can be a parking lot as well with icy spots to boot.

It seems that there would be a middle ground here that doesn't cost as much as 100 miles of new interstate, but could function as a better truck bypass as needed. My wife and I have had several adventures in Wyoming during the winter storms, and appreciate that sometimes there is no way around, and sometimes there is a single route available that takes you 200 miles out of your way with no guarantee it too will stay open.
Logged

davewiecking

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 712
  • Age: 66
  • Location: Bethesda, MD
  • Last Login: Today at 07:56:08 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2022, 08:34:59 PM »

Living in Laramie, and from my conversations, many times when I-80 is closed to all vehicles, not just high profile / light weight trucks, US-30 is also closed as to not overload a road that is only two lanes for about 3/4 of the distance from Laramie to Wolcott Jct. There are A LOT of trucks on this stretch as it is a better route to the west coast than 70, and if I-80 is closed due to wind or winter conditions, US 30 will get some, just not as bad. Combine the conditions on a two lane road with a lot of cross-country semis, and that road can be a parking lot as well with icy spots to boot.

Good to hear from a local on this. This pass seems to have the Union Pacific mainline that then splits and heads to both LA and Portland. Any idea if this generally get shut down during times the roadways are? Obviously not due to jackknifed obstructions due to ice, but more due to blowing snowÖ
Logged

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13758
  • Age: 32
  • Location: The 518
  • Last Login: Today at 09:18:08 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2022, 08:47:34 PM »

How much would four-laning US 30 (perhaps with "essential traffic only" advisories when I-80 is closed) help?  That would seem to be a way to reduce the cost over moving I-80.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

SectorZ

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2823
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Last Login: Today at 09:34:39 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2022, 08:50:06 PM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
What about twinning it and using one side as a pedestrian/bike path until I-80 is shut down and then is switched to car traffic only? That would be reasonable.

Yeah, for the 18 people that would use that bike path over the course of a year...

Hey wasn't a whole movie predicated on a guy hearing a voice telling him "If you build it, they will come..."
Logged

JREwing78

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1534
  • Location: Janesville, WI
  • Last Login: Today at 09:58:14 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2022, 08:52:27 PM »

Living in Laramie, and from my conversations, many times when I-80 is closed to all vehicles, not just high profile / light weight trucks, US-30 is also closed as to not overload a road that is only two lanes for about 3/4 of the distance from Laramie to Wolcott Jct.

If that's truly the case - that they close US-30 between Laramie and Wolcott Jct. because of excessive traffic concerns when I-80 is closed, then I might understand the impulse to twin US-30. It's still wild overkill the vast majority of the time, but it might be worth it if that kept traffic flowing when I-80 has to shut down. But it doesn't need to be Interstate - rural 4-lane with controlled access is plenty good enough. Effectively, it's 80 miles of new 2-lane roadway in wide-open countryside, plus periodic crossovers (there's about 15-20 miles of highway already 4-laned). It shouldn't cost anywhere near $6 Billion to build. I'd be surprised if it required $1 Billion

Of course, the state of Wyoming isn't going to do this on their own, and shouldn't. It's a route of national importance - they need to lobby the feds to fund it. Obviously, nobody at WYDOT is serious about relocating I-80, but maybe they can make the case to the feds to twin US-30 to cut the number of times they have to shut down traffic in the region.
Logged

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 12381
  • Last Login: Today at 10:16:18 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2022, 09:03:07 PM »

Living in Laramie, and from my conversations, many times when I-80 is closed to all vehicles, not just high profile / light weight trucks, US-30 is also closed as to not overload a road that is only two lanes for about 3/4 of the distance from Laramie to Wolcott Jct.

If that's truly the case - that they close US-30 between Laramie and Wolcott Jct. because of excessive traffic concerns when I-80 is closed, then I might understand the impulse to twin US-30. It's still wild overkill the vast majority of the time, but it might be worth it if that kept traffic flowing when I-80 has to shut down. But it doesn't need to be Interstate - rural 4-lane with controlled access is plenty good enough. Effectively, it's 80 miles of new 2-lane roadway in wide-open countryside, plus periodic crossovers (there's about 15-20 miles of highway already 4-laned). It shouldn't cost anywhere near $6 Billion to build. I'd be surprised if it required $1 Billion

Of course, the state of Wyoming isn't going to do this on their own, and shouldn't. It's a route of national importance - they need to lobby the feds to fund it. Obviously, nobody at WYDOT is serious about relocating I-80, but maybe they can make the case to the feds to twin US-30 to cut the number of times they have to shut down traffic in the region.

The subsequent issue would be how Wyoming would afford to maintain the new highway.  All I know is that it seems they chip seal I-80 and everyone's vehicles get chipped from others throwing gravel their way.  Whatever they're doing, I actually wonder if FHWA should allow them to do it with federal funds.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

sprjus4

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8393
  • Location: Hampton Roads, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 11:13:34 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2022, 09:25:55 PM »

But it doesn't need to be Interstate - rural 4-lane with controlled access is plenty good enough.
Itís questionable if such alternative route needs to be controlled access.

A simple rural four lane divided highway with no or partial control of access would be more than adequate for when I-80 is shut down.
Logged

kkt

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 7278
  • Location: Seattle, Washington
  • Last Login: Today at 09:57:21 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2022, 09:28:07 PM »

How much traffic does I-80 through Wyoming get in the winter when it's most likely to be closed?  I only drove it once, it was January, and there were a fair number of trucks but not so crowded that it was annoying to drive.

There are several small towns via US 30, and handing them might be a sticking point.  Bypass the town and kill whatever tourism there is, vs. loads of trucks along a 2-lane main street.
Logged

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3371
  • Location: Los Angeles/OKC
  • Last Login: Today at 08:53:43 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2022, 10:39:36 PM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
What about twinning it and using one side as a pedestrian/bike path until I-80 is shut down and then is switched to car traffic only? That would be reasonable.

Yeah, for the 18 people that would use that bike path over the course of a year...
Is a four lane road really needed outside of an interstate closure? If not shut one side off to cars when the interstate is open. Less wear and tear on the road too. Idk this isnít my territory so I donít really care either way I come through here maybe once every other year. Iíve hit some bad weather but I managed it.
Logged

GaryV

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3072
  • Location: Southeast Michigan
  • Last Login: Today at 06:00:37 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2022, 08:28:09 AM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
What about twinning it and using one side as a pedestrian/bike path until I-80 is shut down and then is switched to car traffic only? That would be reasonable.

Yeah, for the 18 people that would use that bike path over the course of a year...

Hey wasn't a whole movie predicated on a guy hearing a voice telling him "If you build it, they will come..."
So we're going to build a path for ghost bikers?
Logged

SectorZ

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2823
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Massachusetts
  • Last Login: Today at 09:34:39 PM
Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2022, 09:02:18 AM »

Here's an idea. What if instead of rerouting I-80, they twinned US-30 for that stretch? That would be a lot cheaper, but it would also make it a very viable alternate route when I-80 has to be closed. Since I'm not sure that I-80 across Wyoming really ever needed to be a freeway either, it would provide a fine, high-speed alternate route more than capable of carrying the traffic.
What about twinning it and using one side as a pedestrian/bike path until I-80 is shut down and then is switched to car traffic only? That would be reasonable.

Yeah, for the 18 people that would use that bike path over the course of a year...

Hey wasn't a whole movie predicated on a guy hearing a voice telling him "If you build it, they will come..."
So we're going to build a path for ghost bikers?

Yes but the most skilled of them are going to be banned from riding their bikes on anything else, hence the need.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.