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Author Topic: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming  (Read 16439 times)

triplemultiplex

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2022, 11:45:01 AM »

If high winds are the problem, then a more reasonable solution might be variable speed limits.  Make everyone slow the hell down if it's too windy rather than shut down the freeway.
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sprjus4

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2022, 11:51:51 AM »

If high winds are the problem, then a more reasonable solution might be variable speed limits.  Make everyone slow the hell down if it's too windy rather than shut down the freeway.
Is this not already a thing on that stretch of I-80?
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SD Mapman

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2022, 12:08:00 PM »

If high winds are the problem, then a more reasonable solution might be variable speed limits.  Make everyone slow the hell down if it's too windy rather than shut down the freeway.
Is this not already a thing on that stretch of I-80?
They use variable speed limits from Laramie to Cheyenne, pretty sure it's the same by Elk Mountain as well.

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.
This definitely would solve the issue (IMO); additionally they could ask to twin the rest of US 287 from Laramie to Tie Siding as well. It's not a major trucking route, but I swear there's a head-on collision at least every two years from the all the passing that goes on.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2022, 12:13:59 PM »

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.

There is zero tourism on US30.

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2022, 12:18:07 PM »

This definitely would solve the issue (IMO); additionally they could ask to twin the rest of US 287 from Laramie to Tie Siding as well. It's not a major trucking route, but I swear there's a head-on collision at least every two years from the all the passing that goes on.

287 should be four lanes between Laramie and Fort Collins regardless of anything going on with I-80. It is the fastest route from Denver to Salt Lake City and points west/northwest and as a result sees quite a bit of traffic, both truck and non-truck.

Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2022, 12:59:47 PM »

If high winds are the problem, then a more reasonable solution might be variable speed limits.  Make everyone slow the hell down if it's too windy rather than shut down the freeway.
You think people give two shits about a speed limit? Lol and having troopers pulling people over during those conditions is probably more dangerous than the violations.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2022, 12:59:55 PM »

This definitely would solve the issue (IMO); additionally they could ask to twin the rest of US 287 from Laramie to Tie Siding as well. It's not a major trucking route, but I swear there's a head-on collision at least every two years from the all the passing that goes on.

287 should be four lanes between Laramie and Fort Collins regardless of anything going on with I-80. It is the fastest route from Denver to Salt Lake City and points west/northwest and as a result sees quite a bit of traffic, both truck and non-truck.

Agreed 100%.

SD Mapman

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2022, 12:23:57 AM »

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.

There is zero tourism on US30.
Hey, I like stopping in Medicine Bow! I think I might be the only one though...

Seriously, there are only two towns that would be affected by this (Rock River and Medicine Bow); US 30 is already 4 lanes through Medicine Bow (non-divided) and the same could probably be done through Rock River without too much trouble.
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SD Mapman

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2022, 12:25:24 AM »

This definitely would solve the issue (IMO); additionally they could ask to twin the rest of US 287 from Laramie to Tie Siding as well. It's not a major trucking route, but I swear there's a head-on collision at least every two years from the all the passing that goes on.

287 should be four lanes between Laramie and Fort Collins regardless of anything going on with I-80. It is the fastest route from Denver to Salt Lake City and points west/northwest and as a result sees quite a bit of traffic, both truck and non-truck.

Agreed 100%.
I remember seeing something that WYDOT had committed to 4-laning their stretch of 287 (no timetable), but I have no idea if CDOT will ever do anything.
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RoadWarrior56

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2022, 06:21:49 AM »

I don't think the I-80 reroute will ever happen for two reasons.  It would likely take years of environmental studies before the route were selected, notwithstanding the inevitable environmentalist lawsuits, etc, designed to delay or derail the project.  If those hurdles were cleared, where would the money come from?  My opinion has been for a long time that it is a good thing that the vast majority of the Interstate system was constructed when it was, because I could never see it happening now.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2022, 06:24:13 AM »

If this reroute actually happened and was built what is the most likely outcome for the existing interstate? Will it be kept as is or downgraded to a surface road?
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kwellada

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #36 on: February 03, 2022, 08:40:22 AM »

There is zero tourism on US30.

Not true! Weirdos like me stop to take photos of the various abandoned buildings along the way!
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JayhawkCO

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #37 on: February 03, 2022, 09:29:52 AM »

There is zero tourism on US30.

Not true! Weirdos like me stop to take photos of the various abandoned buildings along the way!

There is one tourist on US30.

SkyPesos

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #38 on: February 03, 2022, 09:37:11 AM »

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.
A bit ironic that you mentioned this, when on the other side of the country on the same highway, you have Breezewood  :-D
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abqtraveler

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2022, 09:38:38 AM »

If this reroute actually happened and was built what is the most likely outcome for the existing interstate? Will it be kept as is or downgraded to a surface road?
My speculation is it would be kept as an interstate, maybe as a 3di loop of I-80. It's 80 miles between Laramie and Walcott via I-80 and 94 miles via US-30. Given its relatively short length, it'd be a stretch to give the existing I-80 a new 2di designation, but there are a couple of options. 

Option 1: reroute I-80 along US-30 and designate the existing I-80 between Laramie and Walcott as I-78. 

Option 2: keep I-80 where it is and designate the route following US-30 as I-x80 (could be I-82, but might be too close to I-82 in OR/WA).

Option 3: the one that AASHTO cringes at--have a split route between Laramie and Walcott with the new alignment following US-30 designated as I-80N and the existing interstate as I-80S.

Option 4: designate the new alignment along US-30 between Walcott and Laramie as I-84, and extend the I-84 designation eastward along I-80 from Echo, Utah to Walcott, resulting in a 266-mile I-80/I-84 overlap (still shorter than the I-80/I-90 overlap in Ohio and Indiana at 278 miles).

I personally like either options 2, 3, or 4 because with any of those, you don't have to renumber exits and reset mileposts on I-80 east of Walcott.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2022, 11:57:15 AM by abqtraveler »
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FrCorySticha

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2022, 10:40:18 AM »

If this reroute actually happened and was built what is the most likely outcome for the existing interstate? Will it be kept as is or downgraded to a surface road?

No idea if Wyoming would do this, but I could see them not wanting to maintain two Interstate quality highways along this route. A possibility might be to downgrade to at least super-2, if not remove all interchanges, and swap the two routes (US 30 to current I-80 and I-80 to current US 30).
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zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2022, 10:41:12 AM »

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.

unrelated... but i absolutely love laramie. i'm a train fanatic, and you have that cool footbridge over the yard downtown. haven't been there for years, sad i'm since only 60 miles SE of you...
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tdindy88

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #42 on: February 03, 2022, 11:04:14 AM »

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.

unrelated... but i absolutely love laramie. i'm a train fanatic, and you have that cool footbridge over the yard downtown. haven't been there for years, sad i'm since only 60 miles SE of you...

I got to do some trainspotting on that bridge last year when I was in Wyoming and stayed the night in Laramie. I went back into Colorado on US 287 the next morning and was curious to wonder why only part of that highway was four lanes with two-lane segments both in Wyoming and Colorado.
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MCRoads

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #43 on: February 03, 2022, 12:10:32 PM »

How expensive would it be to build a wind shield along the problematic section? Like, a big wall, basically.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2022, 12:24:53 PM »

How expensive would it be to build a wind shield along the problematic section? Like, a big wall, basically.

They're called snow fences, and a bunch of 80 across Wyoming has them already (example). They help, but they can only do so much.

seicer

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2022, 01:00:21 PM »

And a wall could exaggerate the issue by funneling wind and precipitation down a defined corridor where it could more rapidly freeze. Wind speeds could be greater. It's much like the skyscraper effect that occurs in cities.

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2022, 01:55:51 PM »

What a wall would be more likely to do is create an eddy, especially when wind flow is perpendicular to the wall, which would dump even more in the immediate downwind vicinity.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2022, 02:04:08 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.

unrelated... but i absolutely love laramie. i'm a train fanatic, and you have that cool footbridge over the yard downtown. haven't been there for years, sad i'm since only 60 miles SE of you...

I think the train is personally the only thing to love.  :D  I was not particularly impressed the last time I was up there and actually got into town.

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2022, 02:21:08 PM »

I'm a bit surprised at the attitudes about highway closures in different states. Kentucky tries to avoid it if all possible. I've heard from retired KYTC folks that after the governor ordered interstates and parkways closed in 1994 (but the surface routes stayed open), Toyota threatened to close its factory in Georgetown and move if that ever happened again. I don't know if this is true or not, as it seems a bit far-fetched for Toyota to abandon such an investment and build another factory somewhere else. Now, there's a "keep interstates open at all costs" mentality and they're only closed if they become physically blocked (as happened on I-65 between Shepherdsville and Elizabethtown a few years ago). There have actually been some pretty heated discussions between local officials (law enforcement, rescue squads, fire departments, etc.) and the state over who has the authority to order a road shut down. The state has taken the position that only the state can close a state road. Meanwhile, lots of other states seem to have no qualms about shutting down roads and they even put up permanent infrastructure such as signs and gates to enable it.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2022, 03:11:31 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.
I-80 is crowded with semi's all year round. If you have ever been in Cheyenne, Laramie or Rawlins when they shut down I-80, the towns are inundated with semi's all over the place from parking lots to the sides of the highway for miles. Good for local businesses but bad for the truckers.
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