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Author Topic: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming  (Read 14539 times)

kwellada

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #125 on: February 28, 2022, 12:12:55 PM »


Sounds like a very similar situation that happened in southern Utah in September 1996…

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are amazing places that absolutely need preservation status. Not everything needs to be destroyed for short term profit.
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Rover_0

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #126 on: February 28, 2022, 02:02:05 PM »


Sounds like a very similar situation that happened in southern Utah in September 1996…

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are amazing places that absolutely need preservation status. Not everything needs to be destroyed for short term profit.

It wouldn’t hurt to actually work with those whose livelihoods are going to be affected the most. Last time I checked, most locals agree that Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante need some level of preserving—just not not on the scale of 1M+ acres or having the decisions on land use be made from thousands of miles away.
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US 89

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #127 on: February 28, 2022, 02:50:11 PM »

Sounds like a very similar situation that happened in southern Utah in September 1996…

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are amazing places that absolutely need preservation status. Not everything needs to be destroyed for short term profit.

It wouldn’t hurt to actually work with those whose livelihoods are going to be affected the most. Last time I checked, most locals agree that Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante need some level of preserving—just not not on the scale of 1M+ acres or having the decisions on land use be made from thousands of miles away.

"Destroyed for short-term profit" is a tremendous oversimplification of what's going on in these places anyway. There are some awesome places within both monuments, but it should go without saying that huge proclamations like Bears Ears and Grand Staircase are not really what the Antiquities Act was designed to do. The law was originally passed mostly to protect archaeological sites, the raiding and vandalism of which was apparently a huge problem around the turn of the century. It also says that designated monuments are supposed to be confined to the smallest area possible that allows for proper care and preservation of whatever is being protected.

I'm not opposed to national monuments like this in the slightest, nor am I opposed to an expansion of what sorts of protections should be allowed. I've been to some fascinating petroglyph sites and ancient ruins in Bears Ears, for example, and there's no question those need to be protected. Same with other nearby monuments like Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges. But it's pretty clear that "smallest area possible" wasn't really a thing with Grand Staircase and Bears Ears, the scale of which is far beyond the things they are supposed to be protecting. Basically as far as I'm concerned, if your national monument is so big it has to be managed by the BLM instead of the NPS, it's probably too big. And it's not a huge jump to see that these were politically motivated decisions influenced by certain lobbyists and special interest groups, many of whom probably haven't even been to the regions in question.

In an area where most people are already wary of "big government", any far-reaching decisions made by "out-of-touch" bureaucrats in offices 2000 miles away aren't going to go over well. Grand Staircase particularly pissed off a lot of people in Utah on both sides of the political aisle as its designation was a complete surprise and was proclaimed by Bill Clinton during a 1996 campaign speech... in Arizona. Unsurprisingly, Utah rewarded Clinton with his second-lowest share of the popular vote in any state (behind only Alaska). And since then, the negative economic impacts that monument has had on an already struggling part of Utah have not been small. Garfield County, in which only 5% of land is privately held, has been losing population for years now and was the only Utah county to lose population in 2021. This op-ed written a few years back when the former president first downsized the monuments was pretty eye-opening personally.

I had no idea Wyoming had a carved-out exemption to the Antiquities Act. I'm curious how many Utah politicians are aware of this or whether or not that's something they might want to pursue for their own state.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2022, 03:35:45 PM by US 89 »
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #128 on: February 28, 2022, 03:10:49 PM »

I had no idea Wyoming had a carved-out exemption to the Antiquities Act. I'm curious how many Utah politicians are aware of this or whether or not that's something they might want to pursue for their own state.

It only came to be in Wyoming because of the fight over the national interest in preserving the Tetons.  If Utah wants the same arrangement, they're going to have to be in a situation where they need to compromise on some area to be preserved by the Feds that is not currently set aside.  Otherwise, there is no incentive for the Feds to cede that authority to a state.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #129 on: February 28, 2022, 04:50:57 PM »

The public involvement process with Bears Ears took three years and was a massive coordination effort.  It wasn't established out of the blue.  My source is the consultant who facilitated it.

Republicans totally undermined the process, wrote their own story about what happened and then got Trump to reduce the monument in size.

And that was the real travesty.
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kkt

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #130 on: March 01, 2022, 12:59:01 AM »

Sounds like a very similar situation that happened in southern Utah in September 1996…

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante are amazing places that absolutely need preservation status. Not everything needs to be destroyed for short term profit.

It wouldn’t hurt to actually work with those whose livelihoods are going to be affected the most. Last time I checked, most locals agree that Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante need some level of preserving—just not not on the scale of 1M+ acres or having the decisions on land use be made from thousands of miles away.

"Destroyed for short-term profit" is a tremendous oversimplification of what's going on in these places anyway. There are some awesome places within both monuments, but it should go without saying that huge proclamations like Bears Ears and Grand Staircase are not really what the Antiquities Act was designed to do. The law was originally passed mostly to protect archaeological sites, the raiding and vandalism of which was apparently a huge problem around the turn of the century. It also says that designated monuments are supposed to be confined to the smallest area possible that allows for proper care and preservation of whatever is being protected.

I'm not opposed to national monuments like this in the slightest, nor am I opposed to an expansion of what sorts of protections should be allowed. I've been to some fascinating petroglyph sites and ancient ruins in Bears Ears, for example, and there's no question those need to be protected. Same with other nearby monuments like Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges. But it's pretty clear that "smallest area possible" wasn't really a thing with Grand Staircase and Bears Ears, the scale of which is far beyond the things they are supposed to be protecting. Basically as far as I'm concerned, if your national monument is so big it has to be managed by the BLM instead of the NPS, it's probably too big. And it's not a huge jump to see that these were politically motivated decisions influenced by certain lobbyists and special interest groups, many of whom probably haven't even been to the regions in question.

In an area where most people are already wary of "big government", any far-reaching decisions made by "out-of-touch" bureaucrats in offices 2000 miles away aren't going to go over well. Grand Staircase particularly pissed off a lot of people in Utah on both sides of the political aisle as its designation was a complete surprise and was proclaimed by Bill Clinton during a 1996 campaign speech... in Arizona. Unsurprisingly, Utah rewarded Clinton with his second-lowest share of the popular vote in any state (behind only Alaska). And since then, the negative economic impacts that monument has had on an already struggling part of Utah have not been small. Garfield County, in which only 5% of land is privately held, has been losing population for years now and was the only Utah county to lose population in 2021. This op-ed written a few years back when the former president first downsized the monuments was pretty eye-opening personally.

I had no idea Wyoming had a carved-out exemption to the Antiquities Act. I'm curious how many Utah politicians are aware of this or whether or not that's something they might want to pursue for their own state.

Clinton (or any Democrat) was never going to win Utah anyway, so he didn't lose anything that he would have otherwise had.
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US 89

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #131 on: March 01, 2022, 01:30:18 AM »

Clinton (or any Democrat) was never going to win Utah anyway, so he didn't lose anything that he would have otherwise had.

He lost his party a House seat. At the time, much of southern and eastern Utah including Grand Staircase was represented in Congress by Democrat Bill Orton, a two-term incumbent who had comfortably won both of his prior elections with around 60% of the popular vote. Orton was a vocal critic of the new monument, but it wasn't enough to save him from a narrow loss to Republican challenger Chris Cannon that year. No Democrat has represented the 3rd district since (though this is largely due to district boundary adjustments after the 2000 census).

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #132 on: March 01, 2022, 06:57:32 AM »

Clinton (or any Democrat) was never going to win Utah anyway, so he didn't lose anything that he would have otherwise had.

He lost his party a House seat. At the time, much of southern and eastern Utah including Grand Staircase was represented in Congress by Democrat Bill Orton, a two-term incumbent who had comfortably won both of his prior elections with around 60% of the popular vote. Orton was a vocal critic of the new monument, but it wasn't enough to save him from a narrow loss to Republican challenger Chris Cannon that year. No Democrat has represented the 3rd district since (though this is largely due to district boundary adjustments after the 2000 census).
Parentheses are the loud part...not that either party has a monopoly on gerrymandering.

SM-S908U

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skluth

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #133 on: November 09, 2022, 02:33:22 PM »

Update on this effort

Quote
The Move To Re-Route Interstate 80 Has Hit A Roadblock Because Of The $12.6 Billion Price Tag
Published on November 8, 2022November 8, 2022  in Interstate 80/News

By Wendy Corr, Cowboy State Daily

Interstate 80 between Cheyenne and Rawlins, particularly around the areas of Walcott Junction and Elk Mountain between Laramie and Rawlins, is beyond treacherous in the winter. Strong winds and snow accumulation force that section of busy interstate into frequent closures during the winter.

That’s why Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Director Luke Reiner has suggested moving the interstate to a path parallel to U.S. Highway 30 north of its current route.

With an anticipated price tag between $6.1 and $12.6 billion, however, the idea has hit a roadblock.

Funding Is Key

Reiner told Cowboy State Daily that with large projects, even though federal money will account for the bulk of the funding, there is generally a requirement that matching funds be provided from the private sector or state.

“With most of the big grants that we get, the federal government typically kicks in 90%, and we kick in 10%,” he said.

So even 10% of what the project would cost could run anywhere from about $600 million to more than $1.2 billion, which is not feasible considering the state’s current budget, Reiner said.

Also, those estimates were made in 2020 before supply chain and inflation issues have spiked construction costs.

“And obviously the price has gone up since then, because prices aren’t going down,” he said. “We just don’t have the capability to match that large of a project.”

The notion of re-routing I-80 isn’t dead, however.

“I’ve been to a couple conferences, and when I bring it up people have listened,” said Reiner. “But the right person with the deep checkbook has not come up and said, ‘Hey, we love that, how about we just fund it?’”

Rest of article here

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #134 on: November 09, 2022, 10:18:04 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.
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skluth

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #135 on: November 09, 2022, 10:32:14 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #136 on: November 09, 2022, 10:47:05 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.
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brad2971

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #137 on: November 10, 2022, 02:30:04 AM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

It's already there: Get off I-80 at Curtis St (Exit 310), then go head out of Laramie on 3rd st (US 30-287). No need for construction AT ALL.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #138 on: November 10, 2022, 12:59:56 PM »

These might be even more impractical than rerouting the interstate, but…

Ok, so if wind is the problem, the Netherlands has a sol!



Or, you could build a snow shed over the problematic areas. It works for railroads, so why can’t it work for regular roads?

Snowsheds can be EXPENSIVE, too.  The former Great Northern Railway (now part of BNSF) drilled their Cascade (base) tunnel in Washington (state) during the late 1920s in large part due to the fact that the snowsheds that kept their old route through Stevens Pass and the original Cascade Tunnel open in winter were fantastically expensive to maintain and that they were literally driving the company into insolvency. The Cascades can sop an incredible amount of moisture out of the air that comes in from the Pacific Ocean. East of the Cascades, the climate is semi-arid. Had that tunnel not been completed and placed in service in early 1929, the railroad company could well have run out of money and been taken over by someone else.

Mike
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #139 on: November 10, 2022, 04:20:30 PM »

I thought the issue here was they were shutting down US-30 whenever they closed I-80 to prevent the excess traffic. Did I just imagine that?
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #140 on: November 10, 2022, 04:32:47 PM »

Giving the price tag of this proposal, I doubt it will come to fruition. Surely the state of Wyoming can do something that improves the corridor, but does not cost billions of dollars.
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SD Mapman

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #141 on: November 10, 2022, 07:02:20 PM »

I thought the issue here was they were shutting down US-30 whenever they closed I-80 to prevent the excess traffic. Did I just imagine that?
Yeah, that's why it closes. They don't want full I-80 traffic on two lanes through Rock River, driving through the Laramie street grid (N. 3rd is four lanes but Curtis is only two, plus during the winter Laramie's population jumps by 12,000 due to students).
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SD Mapman

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #142 on: November 10, 2022, 07:03:21 PM »

Giving the price tag of this proposal, I doubt it will come to fruition. Surely the state of Wyoming can do something that improves the corridor, but does not cost billions of dollars.
I mean the issue here is that this is a long stretch, 100+ miles. Even a small improvement is going to be expensive just due to the amount of road they'd have to upgrade.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #143 on: November 11, 2022, 12:36:58 AM »

^ Bypass the towns and widen rural areas were needed to 4 lanes. A full controlled access upgrade is most certainly not needed.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #144 on: November 16, 2022, 06:08:15 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.

Just curious. When all that happens, does US 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins also typically close. I'm guessing it does, but if it's open it does give long distance traffic an alternative as drivers can then head east on I-70 instead of I-80.
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ski-man

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #145 on: November 16, 2022, 07:15:54 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.

Just curious. When all that happens, does US 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins also typically close. I'm guessing it does, but if it's open it does give long distance traffic an alternative as drivers can then head east on I-70 instead of I-80.

Many times they will both close, but not always. Only I-80 will close many times and I will have to take the long way around to get from Cheyenne to Laramie via Owl Canyon near Ft. Collins
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #146 on: November 25, 2022, 08:56:41 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.

Just curious. When all that happens, does US 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins also typically close. I'm guessing it does, but if it's open it does give long distance traffic an alternative as drivers can then head east on I-70 instead of I-80.

Many times they will both close, but not always. Only I-80 will close many times and I will have to take the long way around to get from Cheyenne to Laramie via Owl Canyon near Ft. Collins
Yeah, it depends on how bad the snow is; Telephone Canyon (80) is at ~8600 feet and Pumpkin Vine (287) is at ~8000 feet with less terrain. Usually the only way out of Laramie that's consistently open is 230 west toward Walden, CO, which is ultimately useless (though I did have a friend of mine go to Fort Collins via Walden and Poudre Canyon so as to not miss his flight at DIA one time and it worked perfectly).
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #147 on: November 27, 2022, 11:15:15 AM »

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...

There are two similar (but shorter) tiny truss bridges over the BN-SF railroad tracks in Minot, North Dakota:

http://bridgehunter.com/nd/ward/anne-pedestrian/

http://bridgehunter.com/nd/ward/bh43077/
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #148 on: November 28, 2022, 06:01:37 AM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.

Just curious. When all that happens, does US 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins also typically close. I'm guessing it does, but if it's open it does give long distance traffic an alternative as drivers can then head east on I-70 instead of I-80.

Many times they will both close, but not always. Only I-80 will close many times and I will have to take the long way around to get from Cheyenne to Laramie via Owl Canyon near Ft. Collins

Seems like CO and WY don't always communcate about this. There have been times when 287 is closed in colorado (I live west on 14, and make my turn right at the closure point in CO), but open in WY, and vice versa.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #149 on: November 29, 2022, 10:05:01 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.

Just curious. When all that happens, does US 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins also typically close. I'm guessing it does, but if it's open it does give long distance traffic an alternative as drivers can then head east on I-70 instead of I-80.

Many times they will both close, but not always. Only I-80 will close many times and I will have to take the long way around to get from Cheyenne to Laramie via Owl Canyon near Ft. Collins

Seems like CO and WY don't always communcate about this. There have been times when 287 is closed in colorado (I live west on 14, and make my turn right at the closure point in CO), but open in WY, and vice versa.
When I was in Laramie, they seemed like they were lined up pretty well. I would go to church in Fort Collins, so I'm familiar with the fun times of 287. I ran the inaugural Narrowleaf Lake Run 4 Mile in Loveland, and a blizzard forced me to go back to Laramie via Ault, Cheyenne, and Wheatland (that was an adventure!)
Logged
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see. - G.K. Chesterton

 


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