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andy3175:
According to this article, GPS did not do some drivers many favors when it supposedly routed some drivers onto dirt roads during winter driving conditions when Interstate 80 was closed across the Red Desert (between Rock Springs and Rawlins):

https://oilcity.news/community/weather/2023/01/16/gps-strands-over-a-dozen-vehicles-seeking-alternate-route-on-red-desert-tundra


--- Quote ---ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. – Amidst an “onslaught”  of calls for crashes and stranded motorists during a road-closing winter storm last December, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office noticed a theme: Travelers were being led to no-man’s-land by GPS.

Over a dozen vehicles ended up stranded on Bar X Road in blizzard-like conditions on Dec. 13, SCSO Deputy Jason Mower told Oil City News. Some had been unable to call for help and were only found while rescuers were on the way to someone else.

Most of the motorists were new to the area or from out of town; all had been directed onto the seasonally unmaintained county road by GPS navigation systems that suggested it as an alternate route after Interstate 80 was closed due to winter conditions.
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andy3175:
WyDOT and the City of Casper are considering ways to address the "skewed" intersection between WYO 220 CY Avenue and Poplar Avenue. "Skewed" intersections appear to be those intersections where the intersecting roads do not meet at right angles. WY 220 approaches this intersection from the southwest.

https://oilcity.news/community/city/2023/01/24/state-engineer-talks-ways-to-reduce-crashes-at-skewed-cy-poplar-intersection-with-casper-city-council/


--- Quote ---the Casper City Council heard a presentation from Wyoming Department of Transportation staff about safety at the intersection of CY Avenue and Poplar Street. CY Avenue is part of Wyoming Highway 220 and is therefore part of WYDOT’s jurisdiction.

Over the past six years, the intersection has seen a total of 104 crashes, eight of which resulted in injury, State Traffic Engineer Joel Meena told the City Council during the work session at Casper City Hall.

The total number of crashes at CY and Poplar is more than at comparable intersections in Casper, though Meena noted that there have been no fatalities reported among the crashes at that intersection in the past six years. WYDOT reviewed those six years of data after Casper Mayor Bruce Knell reached out to the agency a few months ago expressing concerns about the intersection.

First and Poplar has seen 70 total crashes in the past six years, including one fatal crash and 13 with injuries. CY Avenue and Poplar has seen 82 total crashes, including 27 with injuries. None of the crashes were fatal.

The fact that CY and Poplar is a skewed intersection where the streets don’t cross at a 90-degree angle is likely a major factor in the number of crashes seen at the intersection, Meena told the City Council.

WYDOT conducted a significant reconstruction effort at CY and Poplar in 2015, according to a memo from city staff. The agency is planning some further steps in hopes to further reduce crashes, Meena said Tuesday.

Possibilities include adding striping, particularly “skip dash”  striping to demarcate dual left lanes at the intersection. The signals along the Wyoming Highway 220 corridor will also be recounted and retimed in summer 2023.

Meena added that something the city could consider is extending the southbound outside through lane to give people more time to merge when Poplar narrows to become a single lane heading toward Casper Mountain.
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andy3175:
In January, WyDOT held a public meeting to discuss bridge improvements to Interstate 25 (and US 20-26-87) where it crosses the North Platte River.

https://oilcity.news/community/2023/01/24/wydot-hosting-i-25-casper-marginal-bridge-reconstruction-project-public-open-house-jan-26/


--- Quote ---he Wyoming Department of Transportation will host a public open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26 at the WYDOT Casper office, 900 Bryan Stock Trail, to discuss an upcoming project replacing four Interstate 25 bridges and the F Street bridge over the North Platte River.

The project is set to begin this construction season and will replace the aging structures, three over the North Platte River and two over Center Street. The project includes new road surfacing between the interstate structures along with landscaping, lighting and intersection upgrades, a news release states.

The project covers 0.97 miles and is expected to take two years to complete. WYDOT has programmed $50 million for the project; however, a true cost won’t be known until the project has been let to contract.

This construction project is the third phase of four phases rehabilitating I-25 through Casper. Once this phase is completed, the final phase will tie all of the previous work together with new pavement between the Walsh Drive bridge and Center Street as well as the addition of weave lanes between Bryan Stock Trail and Center Street.
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andy3175:
Plans call for a large truck parking area in Evanston to accommodate the numerous trucks that are forced to wait there while Interstate 80 is closed for winter weather concerns. There has been some concerns about the need, Utah's role in stopping trucks from coming into Wyoming, and the location of the parking lot.  It is not clear from the article when this parking lot will be complete or its exact location in Evanston. My guess would be at the east end of town near the welcome center, but it could also be west of town near the port of entry.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/12/21/mayor-evanston-needs-giant-semi-lot-because-utah-wont-close-i-80-during-storms/


--- Quote ---Plans by the Wyoming Department of Transportation to spend $33.3 million to build 365 new parking spaces... With Evanston located so close to the state border with Utah, Williams said the biggest problem the city faces is Utah’s unwillingness to help mitigate congestion in Wyoming by closing I-80 on its side during severe winter storms.

“If Utah was willing to shut down I-80 on their end, that would be a huge help, but they have never been willing to shut it down,” (Evanston Mayor Kent) Williams said. “So what happens is the trucks keep driving and they don’t know that the road is closed up ahead. Then they are forced to get off in Evanston.”

Utah Department of Transportation spokesperson Mitchell Shaw however, told Cowboy State Daily that state does not close its roads except for in extreme cases because it’s their job to keep motorists moving.

“Our philosophy is to keep the roads open for the public to travel on,” Shaw said. “We don’t close our roads unless it is an unusual circumstance.”

That doesn’t help Evanston with more than 250 trucks crossing the state line into Wyoming every day, said Uinta County Commissioner Chairman Mark Anderson. The buildup of trucks within the city limits can get so bad it prevents locals from even being able to drive on the main streets. Trucks are parked everywhere – from side roads to turning lanes. That means those newcomers on the council who don’t want Evanston to become a “parking lot” are off, because it already becomes that when I-80 closes.

“We know that our economy is funded in a large part by I-80 and the people who stop here to shop,” Williams said. “That includes truckers. We don’t want the truckers thinking that we don’t want them here. We just need some relief during the winter. The truckers also don’t like it. They don’t like not having a place to park and being able to get food and showers when they need them.”

Williams and Anderson both said WYDOT has been working with Evanston and Uinta County for years to find a solution to the traffic congestion. “We have been working on this issue with WYDOT for years,” Anderson said. “They have been so good to include us in the conversations and to discuss our needs. The issue wasn’t ever about not working with us, we had decided this a long time ago but there was a funding issue. So, when they announced the other day they had received that grant to put in the parking spaces, we were elated.”
--- End quote ---

https://oilcity.news/community/wyoming-community-2/2023/12/13/wydot-awarded-federal-grant-for-hundreds-of-new-truck-parking-spaces-in-evanston/


--- Quote ---The Wyoming Department of Transportation has been awarded a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to build hundreds of new semitruck parking spaces in southwest Wyoming.

WYDOT will receive more than $26.6 million through the 2023–24 federal Rural Surface Transportation Grant, which will be used to build about 365 truck parking spaces along Interstate 80 in Evanston, WYDOT said in a news release.

“This is a crucial project for Wyoming. It’s an investment in our road infrastructure that will help address pedestrian and vehicle safety hazards that occur when winter weather forces the closure of I-80,” Gov. Mark Gordon said. “Importantly, it will alleviate the impacts to the community caused by hundreds of tractor trailers seeking somewhere safe to park.”

Due to its proximity to the state border, Evanston can be inundated with commercial vehicles and other traffic during a long-duration closure of Interstate 80, which can strain local resources, street parking and other infrastructure.

“Truck parking continues to be one of the highest priorities for both truck drivers and motor carriers,” said Sheila Foertsch, President and CEO of the Wyoming Trucking Association. “Safe, well lit, accessible parking makes the nation’s highway system safer.” ...

The Wyoming Association of General Contractors, Wyoming Trucking Association, City of Evanston, Uinta County and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis also formally and publicly expressed their support for the project. Parking area construction is expected to begin in spring 2026 depending on design timing, project letting schedule and other potential scheduling considerations. The total project cost is approximately $33.3 million.
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andy3175:
Earlier this year, the 98-year old Winchester Bridge was sold by Washakie County to a rancher. It was transported 40 miles from Washakie County Road 86 at Cottonwood Creek to the Galloway Ranch after being sold for $1100.



https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/06/04/wyoming-rancher-buys-giant-100-year-old-bridge-hauls-it-40-miles-to-ranch/


--- Quote ---Washakie County drivers had to make way for a 25-foot-wide bridge the (last week of May 2023) that was on its way from Cottonwood Creek south of Worland to the Galloway Ranch north of Ten Sleep. The historic Winchester Bridge, which is nearly 100 years old, was recently sold to the ranch by Washakie County, and the 90-by-25-foot structure was hauled 40 miles to its new home north of Ten Sleep on Tuesday.

“They'll use it for moving livestock and moving vehicles back and forth,” said Cody Beers with the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

The bridge was deemed unsafe for public travel in a recent WYDOT inspection, but rather than haul it off to the scrapyard, county commissioners chose to sell it to the highest bidder. ... Despite its bargain price, the county considered the sale a better option than either donating the bridge to the Washakie County Museum (which would have cost the county around $86,000, since the lead paint on it would need to be scraped off first) or taking it to a foundry to be disposed of, which would cost around $29,000. ... (T)he determination to replace the bridge in the southern part of Washakie County was part of the federal Bridge Replacement Off System designed to reduce the number of deficient bridges in the United States.

And Beers said the new bridge spanning Cottonwood Creek on Washakie County Road 86 is being built now. “The contractor has placed the corrugated steel stay-in-place concrete forms for the future bridge deck,” said Beers. “Tying of bridge deck steel is still to happen, and concrete pours are scheduled in June.” County Road 86 is closed to through traffic while CC&G Construction out of Lander completes the $1.75 million project, which (Uinta County Commission Chairman Mark) Anderson said would be paid primarily through federal funding.
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https://cowboystatedaily.com/2023/06/07/100-year-old-80-000-pound-iron-bridge-finds-new-home-on-wyoming-ranch/


--- Quote ---Keith and Laura Galloway were in the market for a bridge, an unusual item to be found on anyone’s shopping list, but for the Galloways, it wasn’t a wish list. They needed it. The couple, who with their sons own and operate Galloway Ranch 2 miles north of Ten Sleep in north-central Wyoming, needed a way to connect their land with their son’s property across the river. “Our youngest boy, Ethan, has to go through town multiple times a day because he drives over here to work and back, and then we trail cows, and we have semis that are going through town all the time,” Laura told Cowboy State Daily. “It’s 5 miles around. But if we have a bridge, it’s a quarter mile.”

So they were pleasantly surprised when they saw Washakie County had advertised a 90-by-25-foot bridge for sale in the classified section of their local newspaper. The historic Winchester Bridge, which had been perched over Cottonwood Creek since 1925, had recently been decommissioned and county commissioners were looking for an inexpensive way to dispose of it. “The bridge was actually put up for bid in the newspaper, and we thought, ‘Well, what the heck?’” said Laura. “The guys went and looked at it and said, ‘Yeah, go for it.’ It's plenty long, and it's wide enough to get all of our machinery, and big enough and strong enough to hold semitrucks loaded with hay or silage, and so we just put a bid in on it and happened to win the bid.”

The Galloways contacted Swing Trucking, a transportation company out of Worland, to do the heavy lifting. “Swing Trucking does a lot of that stuff, and he’s really good at it,” said Laura, speaking of Danny Bertsch, whose grandfather started the company in 1949. The big rigs arrived at the Winchester Bridge’s old location over Cottonwood Creek 13 miles south of Worland on May 30. “He went down and loaded it,” she said. “It was him, and then they had, I think, two trucks and a crane, and then the three pilot cars that brought the whole train of stuff over here.”

Bertsch told Cowboy State Daily the bridge weighs about 80,000 pounds, or roughly 40 tons. But he pointed out that his company is outfitted for those kinds of jobs.
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