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Author Topic: Wyoming  (Read 30715 times)

andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #100 on: May 08, 2021, 07:01:01 PM »

Article on Lincoln Highway in Wyoming:

https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/lincoln-highway-wyoming

The article covers several interesting aspects of what is now a combination of Interstate 80 and U.S. 30 across the southern tier of Wyoming. The first section establishes the origin of the Lincoln Highway:

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In 1913, the nation’s first transcontinental highway followed Wyoming’s southern rail corridor. A well-publicized effort led by eastern automakers, the Lincoln Highway introduced tourists, especially women, to the wonders of Wyoming. It also spurred businesses in the state. Although its official life lasted little more than a decade, the route lived on as U.S. Route 30. Since the construction of Interstate 80, the Lincoln Highway has become a touchstone of nostalgia for a friendlier, more easygoing type of auto touring.

An iconic view of the Lincoln Highway is seen along James Town Road (WYO 374), which is old U.S. 30. However, an older alignment of the highway passed through Telephone Canyon as noted in this passage in the article:

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Wyoming 374 west of Green River is one of those gorgeous old-fashioned drives, adjacent to the river and under Tollgate Rock and sandstone palisades. The view is so iconic that it’s on the cover of the 2013 edition of Brian Butko’s book Greetings from the Lincoln Highway: America's First Coast-to-Coast Road. And although this is indeed the Lincoln Highway, it’s only one version—the 1924 route.

The original 1913 Lincoln Highway crossed the Green River close to town on an old wagon bridge. It then ascended Telephone Canyon through drylands south of Wyoming 374. Like Laramie’s Telephone Canyon, this one was named because it provided the route of the first telephone wires. The first Lincoln Highway followed these wires, not the scenic riverside. That’s because there was only one decent bridge across the river, until the state built a new bridge, 286 feet long, for what is now Wyoming 374 a few miles upstream.
Indeed, most of Wyoming contains three or four alternative Lincoln Highways.

Investments in new roads allowed for straightening, or better bridges, or flatter grades, or fewer railroad crossings, or less mud or better relations with adjacent landowners. Often the old route still exists as a two-track dirt path, though sometimes it enters private lands. But in the case of Green River’s Telephone Canyon, the only evidence of the old road is the old maps identifying it. One of the most fascinating aspects of Gregory Franzwa’s 1999 book The Lincoln Highway in Wyoming is its 118 maps—7.5-minute USGS topographic quadrangles, one inch to about 2.6 miles—charting the multiple parallel paths of the migrating highway.

The article mentions the numbering debate that occurred in the early days of the U.S. Highway System, including changes that resulted in the U.S. 30 north/south split near Granger. I don't recall U.S. 530 replacing U.S. 30 South as noted in the article (see quote below). U.S. 530 was located between U.S.40 and U.S. 30 South in Utah between Echo and Kimball Junction, but I don't think 530 went any further east than Echo nor ever entered Wyoming.

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The road-numbering authorities initially suggested that the Lincoln Highway become U.S. 30 from the east coast to Salt Lake City, where it would merge with U.S. Route 40 to San Francisco. U.S. 40 has equally historic associations; it was built atop older trails including the National Road and the Victory Highway.

But Oregon and Idaho complained: Their only transcontinental route would then be U.S. Route 20, impassable through Yellowstone Park in the winter. In a compromise, U.S. 30 North left the Lincoln Highway near Granger, Wyo., heading northwest into Idaho, where it then picked up the old proposed U.S. 20 to Astoria, Ore. U.S. 20 terminated at Yellowstone, while U.S. 30 South followed the Lincoln Highway to Salt Lake City, then angled north to rejoin U.S. 30 North at Burley, Idaho.

But soon U.S. 30 South was renumbered as U.S. Route 530. The Lincoln Highway lost a bit of numeric unity. Decades later, alterations made things more confusing: U.S. 530 was eliminated, U.S. 40 was terminated near Salt Lake City, and U.S. 20 was extended, crisscrossing U.S. 30 in Idaho to land on the Pacific at Newport, Ore. Only with the coming of the interstate system would a number, I-80, roughly correspond to the full Lincoln Highway.


The creation of Interstate 80 made further changes to the Lincoln Highway corridor, including the construction of the Interstate past Elk Mountain and Arlington rather than along the Lincoln Highway through Hanna, Medicine Bow, and Rock River.

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The website of the Lincoln Highway Association recommends that to do a modern tour, a person can mostly take the Interstate. After all, today’s maps label much of I-80 as “the Lincoln Highway.” The website does advise getting off the Interstate and onto city streets in Cheyenne, Sinclair, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Green River, Lyman/Fort Bridger, and Evanston. Most importantly, it urges people to take U.S. 30 from Laramie through Medicine Bow to Walcott Junction.
This nearly-100-mile stretch may be the most famous Wyoming “Lincoln Highway.” As the name of one website of gorgeous photographs says, it was “bypassed by I-80.” It’s almost as if, when we celebrate the Lincoln Highway, we celebrate the act of being bypassed.

In other words, when most people talk about the Lincoln Highway, they mean old U.S. 30. Other than that 100-mile stretch and the “business routes” through cities, people understand that what was bypassed may often now be a frontage road. In a few places, such as the summit between Cheyenne and Laramie, the old road may be as much as a mile from the newer road. In some places it may still be maintained, and drivable, where in other places, it may have faded to nothingness or been obliterated by its replacement.

But “old U.S. 30” is also a moving target. Like the Lincoln Highway, it too was frequently moved, straightened, or improved between its creation in 1926 and the coming of I-80 in the 1960s. For example, in 1935, U.S. 30 between Pine Bluffs and Cheyenne was relocated to reduce distance by five miles and eliminate all railroad crossings. If you want to follow the actual route that Eisenhower did in 1919, you can’t take that “new” U.S. 30, on the route of today’s I-80. You have to take what are now county roads to the north, through downtown Egbert, Burns, and Hillsdale, Wyo.

Likewise, the new U.S. 30 no longer passes through Elmo, Latham or Frewen, Wyo., as the 1931 version of U.S. 30/Lincoln Highway did. The newer roads no longer pass through the heart of Fort Fred Steele, as the 1922 Lincoln Highway (before its rechristening as U.S. 30) did; nor through Baxter, as the 1916 Lincoln Highway did; nor through Blairtown or a stage station south of Bryan named Lone Tree, as the 1913 Lincoln Highway did. You may not have heard of most of these places—but a stickler would say that’s precisely the point. By the 1940s they’d all been “bypassed by U.S. 30.”

Why do we care more about the act of being bypassed by I-80 than by U.S. 30? It’s more recent, in the memory of most baby boomers. It’s more substantial, cutting off that 100-mile stretch. And the construction of the interstate system—with its divided traffic, limited access and limits on commercial activity—feels more momentous than a mere road improvement and relocation. Thus the most important date in today’s conception of the history of Wyoming’s Lincoln Highway may not be its dedication on Oct. 31, 1913, but the opening of I-80 on Oct. 3, 1970.


« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 07:10:26 PM by andy3175 »
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #101 on: May 08, 2021, 07:09:49 PM »

Update on paving operations in the Cheyenne area for summer 2021:

https://oilcity.news/community/2021/05/03/wydot-seasonal-paving-operations-begin-around-laramie-county-in-may/

Here are the locations:

WYO 216 near Albin between mile markers 12.6-13

WYO 214 near Carpenter between mile markers 6.3-7.1

WYO 211/Horse Creek Road between mile markers 22.8-23.4

WYO 219/Yellowstone Road between mile markers 5.1-5.4

Interstate 25 at mile marker 8.84

U.S. Highway 30/Lincolnway between mile markers 366.6-366.9 (west of Whitney Road)

Interstate 80 westbound off-ramp to southbound I-25

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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #102 on: May 14, 2021, 09:30:07 AM »

Crews are removing snow on WYO 70 over the Sierra Madre (Battle Pass) and WYO 130 over the Snowy Range for a Memorial Day weekend opening.

Photos of plow operations:  https://oilcity.news/community/weather/2021/05/13/photos-wydot-plowing-deep-snow-to-open-snowy-range-road-by-memorial-day-weekend/

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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #103 on: May 14, 2021, 09:34:35 AM »

A portion of Yellowstone Highway (US 20-26-87) in Casper will close overnight on May 17, 2021. This work will include pouring the concrete bridge deck.

https://oilcity.news/community/2021/05/13/yellowstone-highway-closure-to-impact-casper-traffic-bridge-pour-slated-for-monday-night/

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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #104 on: May 14, 2021, 09:49:27 AM »

Wyoming DOT is putting together a wish list of possible expensive projects for the upcoming federal infrastructure if it is approved.

Some ideas include:

- Constructing a tunnel for WYO 22 under Teton Pass near Jackson along with capacity improvements
- Realigning a portion of Interstate 80 onto US 30 in the Elk Mountain area to reduce weather-related closures, which are common each winter
- Constructing a tunnel along US 20/WYO 789 in Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis
- Increasing electric charging stations, adding truck parking areas, repairing bridges, and adding truck climbing lanes on Interstate 80
- Creating wildlife corridors to allow animals to safely cross highways
- Increasing maintenance of US 212 Beartooth Highway
- Improving airports across the state

These items are not necessarily going to happen but are of interest to the department. We'll see if any of these come to fruition.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2021/05/12/drilling-1-3-mile-tunnel-through-teton-pass-on-wydots-wish-list-for-bidens-2-trillion-infrastructure-plan/

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #105 on: May 14, 2021, 07:25:04 PM »

- Realigning a portion of Interstate 80 onto US 30 in the Elk Mountain area to reduce weather-related closures, which are common each winter

Assuming they get the money to do this, I'm wondering if that'll be a realignment of the entire 75 mile stretch from Laramie to Walcott along US 30/287, or if they will create a new alignment between current I-80 and US 30/287 just around the immediate Elk Mountain area. Completely realigning via US 30/287 would add about 15 miles to I-80.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #106 on: May 15, 2021, 12:10:49 PM »

I'm curious as to why the Elk Mountain area is so problematic in winter?  Is there a major grade or two around there?
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #107 on: May 15, 2021, 03:03:04 PM »

I'm curious as to why the Elk Mountain area is so problematic in winter?  Is there a major grade or two around there?
It's a combination of three factors: consistently high winds that can reach 90 mph gusts, winter snow that creates blizzard conditions during those high wind events, and high truck volume. 

The snow that falls is made worse in that it is usually less dense and thus will keep blowing around after the storm leaves. This wind activity creates ground blizzards that push the snow around at about 6 to 10 feet above ground level. This can create whiteout conditions on otherwise sunny days.

The snow still falls on the US 30-287 corridor but not to the same degree as Elk Mountain and Arlington, and the winds there are not as funneled/intense as they are near the Snowy Range.

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #108 on: May 15, 2021, 09:52:36 PM »

I'm curious as to why the Elk Mountain area is so problematic in winter?  Is there a major grade or two around there?
It's a combination of three factors: consistently high winds that can reach 90 mph gusts, winter snow that creates blizzard conditions during those high wind events, and high truck volume. 

The snow that falls is made worse in that it is usually less dense and thus will keep blowing around after the storm leaves. This wind activity creates ground blizzards that push the snow around at about 6 to 10 feet above ground level. This can create whiteout conditions on otherwise sunny days.

The snow still falls on the US 30-287 corridor but not to the same degree as Elk Mountain and Arlington, and the winds there are not as funneled/intense as they are near the Snowy Range.

SM-G975U
Yeah, that area is pretty nasty in winter, but I-80 is particularly bad because it hugs the Medicine Bow Range; if it was even 4-5 miles off it would probably stay open more in the winter.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #109 on: May 15, 2021, 10:27:08 PM »

I'm curious as to why the Elk Mountain area is so problematic in winter?  Is there a major grade or two around there?
It's a combination of three factors: consistently high winds that can reach 90 mph gusts, winter snow that creates blizzard conditions during those high wind events, and high truck volume. 

The snow that falls is made worse in that it is usually less dense and thus will keep blowing around after the storm leaves. This wind activity creates ground blizzards that push the snow around at about 6 to 10 feet above ground level. This can create whiteout conditions on otherwise sunny days.

The snow still falls on the US 30-287 corridor but not to the same degree as Elk Mountain and Arlington, and the winds there are not as funneled/intense as they are near the Snowy Range.

SM-G975U
Yeah, that area is pretty nasty in winter, but I-80 is particularly bad because it hugs the Medicine Bow Range; if it was even 4-5 miles off it would probably stay open more in the winter.
Agreed. That is the conclusion I've seen in reading the book Snow Chi Minh Trail by John Richard Waggener. Chapter 11 of that book describes the known geography of the foothills that Interstate 80 traverses between Laramie and Walcott Junction. Wind and snow are more pronounced here than even 10 miles away. 

US 30-287 arguably would be a better all-weather highway for Interstate 80 than the route we have currently. Page 151 of that book notes that officials even considered making Interstate 80 closed in winter.

Copies of the book that explores the history of Interstate 80 between Laramie and Rawlins may be ordered by contacting the Wyoming State Historical Society. Call Linda Fabian, the society’s executive secretary, at (307) 322-3014 or email linda@wyshs.org.

More information on the book is here:  https://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2017/10/uw-ahc-archivist-writes-book-on-snow-chi-minh-trail-along-i-80.html

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #110 on: May 15, 2021, 10:34:42 PM »

Another factor I forgot to mention is elevation. The foothills route Interstate 80 follows now generally is 7400 to 7900 feet.  The US 30-287 route is around 6700 feet.

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #111 on: July 10, 2021, 03:05:03 PM »

Construction season is in full swing in Wyoming: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2021/06/16/construction-season-in-wyoming-causes-continuing-delays-on-highways/

Locations of this summer's construction projects include the following roads and locations; a map for the 2021 season is available here: https://map.wyoroad.info/wtimap/index.html. Most projects involve pavement and bridge repairs and construction.

- Interstate 25: south of Cheyenne, between Cheyenne and Chugwater, Casper bridge construction, and around Kaycee
- Interstate 80: east of Cheyenne, in Telephone Canyon between Cheyenne and Laramie, west of Laramie, near Elk Mountain, between Sinclair and Walcott, east of Rock Springs near the airport, and west of Rock Springs
- Interstate 90: east of Moorcroft for bridge repairs
- U.S. Highway 14/16/20 in Cody
- U.S. Highway 14A/310/Wyoming Highway 789 near Lovell
- U.S. Highway 16 between Worland and Ten Sleep
- U.S. Highway 16 east of Ten Sleep
- U.S. Highway 16/20/Wyoming Highway 789 near Worland
- U.S. Highway 20/26 west of Casper
- U.S. Highway 20/26/87 in Casper
- U.S. Highway 20/Wyoming Highway 789 at Shoshoni
- U.S. Highway 26/89/189/191 south of Jackson
- U.S. Highway 26/287 between Moran Junction and Dubois
- U.S. Highway 85 between Lingle and Lusk
- U.S. Highway 89 between Thayne and Alpine Junction
- U.S. Highway 189/191 at Pinedale Bridge
- U.S. Highway 287 north of Lander
- U.S. Highway 287/Wyoming Highway 789 southeast of Lander
- U.S. Highway 310/Wyoming Highway 789 north of Powell
- Wyoming Highway 28 south of Lander
- Wyoming Highway 30 between Basin and Burlington
- Wyoming Highway 120 northwest of Cody
- Wyoming Highway 211 northwest of Cheyenne
- Wyoming Highway 220 southwest of Casper
- Wyoming Highway 296 northwest of Cody
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #112 on: July 11, 2021, 04:38:05 PM »

There are plans to pave the road from the north end of Wyoming 390 (Moose-Wilson Road) at Teton Village into Grand Teton National Park over the next several years:

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/grand-teton-to-close-parts-of-moose-wilson-road-for-much-of-2022/article_aa60dc92-1965-5a3c-a3dc-3db53210a79b.html

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A long planned overhaul of the Moose-Wilson Road will eliminate travel between Grand Teton National Park and Teton Village for much of 2022 and require construction for at least the next four years.

On Tuesday, park staff rolled out their infrastructure plans for the 8-mile-long road, which will initially include two phases of construction that will move from south to north. Perhaps most notably, the graveled, 1.4-mile stretch of the route will be paved next summer — the primary cause of the extensive closures, which will be mostly confined to 2022. ...

The plan the park landed on will close the Moose-Wilson Road between the southern Granite Entrance Station and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve in the spring of 2022. The road will then open beginning Memorial Day as a through route for the busy summer season, but only from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday each week. Then, after Labor Day, the southern stretch of the Moose-Wilson corridor will entirely close again.

Grand Teton developed a comprehensive management plan for the road by completing an environmental impact statement following a years-long planning process that ended in 2016. Some of the decisions along the way attracted controversy, such as a proposed and then scrapped plan to turn the road into a one-way route.

Ultimately, the park chose a plan that seeks to maintain the current rural, rustic nature of the road. A notable component that is not being pursued over the next four years is a crowd-control “queuing system” that would have put a cap on vehicles allowed in the corridor during the busiest, most congested times of year.

Besides paving the road, the work that starts next year will renovate the Granite Entrance Station while giving cyclists and pedestrians a safer route to exit the separated pathway along Highway 390, which currently spills out onto a high-speed section of road, Grand Teton Branch Chief of Project Management Jessica Brown explained. The road itself around the entrance station will also be realigned, with curves added, to encourage slower driving speeds. ...

Throughout the road corridor park officials will be formalizing and paving informal pullouts — about 20 of them — where motorists can park to go for a jaunt or stop to peep at wildlife.

They’ll also make the road itself more uniform, ensuring its paved surface is between 18 and 20 feet wide. Today the gravel section gets to as wide as 30 feet, where potholes have encouraged drivers to forge new routes.

The construction work will cause a complete closure of the Granite Canyon trailhead in 2022 and 2023, though the parking area will be accessible next winter. Access to southern park hikes like the Valley Trail will still be possible by taking off or coming out at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Brown said. At the trailhead the plan is to add two vault toilets, benches, 32 parking spaces and a turnaround space for plow trucks.

The second phase of road work, on tap for 2024 and 2025, will cause disruptions on the north end of the road. Plans are less concrete, but the improvements will cover the Death Canyon access road, trailhead and parking lot. The park is also realigning the northernmost section of the Moose-Wilson Road so that the access point is beyond the Moose Entrance Station.

Each phase costs roughly $13 million, and the $26 million in funds have already been secured through the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, a pot of money created by the Great American Outdoors Act.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #113 on: September 06, 2021, 12:43:06 PM »

What is the reasoning behind the crazy A-C on I-80 at I-25 and worse yet D-A on I-25 at I-80 in Cheyenne?  The exit number suffixes don’t make any sense at all.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #114 on: September 06, 2021, 01:33:49 PM »

I don't know ... it's been that way for years.  Pretty much the only cloverleaf in Wyoming, isn't it?
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #115 on: September 06, 2021, 01:37:00 PM »

What is the reasoning behind the crazy A-C on I-80 at I-25 and worse yet D-A on I-25 at I-80 in Cheyenne?  The exit number suffixes don’t make any sense at all.
They do make sense, just not in the way we think of suffixed exits:

359A: Both directions from I-80 to I-25 south
8B: Both directions from I-25 to I-80 west
359C: Both directions from I-80 to I-25 north
8D: Both directions from I-25 to I-80 east

There is a method to Wyoming's madness. Whether or not it's a good idea is another story.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #116 on: September 06, 2021, 02:47:07 PM »

What is the reasoning behind the crazy A-C on I-80 at I-25 and worse yet D-A on I-25 at I-80 in Cheyenne?  The exit number suffixes don’t make any sense at all.
They do make sense, just not in the way we think of suffixed exits:

359A: Both directions from I-80 to I-25 south
8B: Both directions from I-25 to I-80 west
359C: Both directions from I-80 to I-25 north
8D: Both directions from I-25 to I-80 east

There is a method to Wyoming's madness. Whether or not it's a good idea is another story.

The interchange between Interstate 25 and Missile Drive/Happy Jack Road (WYO 210) used to be a cloverleaf, but three of the four loop ramps were removed as well as the first offramp from southbound. As a result of the ramp removals, the offramps from both directions of Interstate 25 are signed as Exit 10D, even though there is no Exit 10A, 10B, or 10C. The implied B ramp existed until the cloverleaf was eliminated, and the A and C ramps were on Missile Drive... even though several of these movements were eliminated when the interchange converted from cloverleaf to a folded diamond on the west side of the interchange and a diamond interchange on the east side.

Here is a link to the Google Maps aerial that shows the previous ramp at Exit 10D configuration fairly well in satellite view:
https://goo.gl/maps/3BPcCvZzJzgXGJd47

Our page goes into detail on this, as we have photos showing the previous and current configurations:
https://www.aaroads.com/west/i-025se_wy.html
https://www.aaroads.com/west/i-025na_wy.html

As for why WyDOT chose the exit numbering scheme, FrCorySticha has the best explanation ... but it is not consistent with any other state's application of numbering I've seen. Maybe there are other examples of something similar elsewhere? I could not find any other cloverleafs in Wyoming other than the current I-25/80 interchange.

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #117 on: September 06, 2021, 08:30:23 PM »

An example of Wyoming conforming to the standard (sorta) is the I-90 interchange with I-90 Bus and I-25 in Buffalo - https://goo.gl/maps/MKkgAapfKnA2vwVDA

I-90 EB has Exit 56A with I-90 Bus and Exit 56B with I-25.   I-90 WB has no exit with I-90 Bus but I-25 is still Exit 56B.

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #118 on: September 07, 2021, 12:53:11 AM »

There is also a more usual suffix application on I-25 in Casper, with 188A going to Center St and 188B to US 20/26.

As far as I can tell, those five cases (359 on 80, 8/10/188 on 25, and 56 on 90) are the only letter suffixes in the entire state of Wyoming.

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #119 on: September 12, 2021, 08:02:23 PM »

Bridge demolition along Interstate 25 in Casper continues...the link has photos of the partially demolished bridge.

https://oilcity.news/galleries/2021/08/17/photos-interstate-25-southbound-bridge-in-casper-demolished-for-replacement-project/

Quote
The Interstate 25 bridge over North Walsh Drive in east Casper is partially demolished in a project to replace the structures.

On Tuesday, large sections of the southbound section of the bridge dramatically laid on their sides in the process to remove and replace them.

According to WYDOT, both sections of the bridge will be demolished and replaced with a single, shorter design.

The project, which has an estimated cost of $29.7 million, started in June and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2023.

Traffic has been diverted into detours to bypass the area, and delays are expected throughout the project, WYDOT said in a press release earlier this year.

“As the project progresses, the impact to traffic on I-25 and on East Yellowstone Highway, between Curtis Street and the F Street turnoff area, will require motorists to reduce their speed, pay attention, and if possible, find alternate routes,” WYDOT said in the release.
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Regards,
Andy

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