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Author Topic: Wyoming  (Read 43602 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #125 on: February 13, 2022, 01:29:06 PM »

I recall that being a thing in Arizona also.  A lot of people I knew around Payson had picked up dead Elk on AZ 260 given the sizable amount of meat that they cut from the road kill.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #126 on: March 07, 2022, 09:07:49 PM »

Process for determining when to close Interstate 80 in Wyoming

https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/wyoming/article_74dc216c-f0c5-5194-9606-4231b2b7e4bf.html

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Network of observes help keep I80 open — or closed

By Carol Ryczek Laramie Boomerang Via Wyoming News Exchange

Mar 6, 2022

Trucks and campers line the side of a road in Laramie following a closure of Interstate 80. A network of Wyoming Department of Transportation employees, including Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers, is responsible for providing the information the agency uses to decide whether roads should be closed or opened in bad weather.

LARAMIE — Bright red lines across the Wyoming Department of Transportation mobile map quickly tell the story: Interstate 80 is closed.

Again.

The decision to close, and reopen, the interstate that crosses all of southern Wyoming is based on observations of DOT personnel on the interstate, said Doug McGee, spokesman for the DOT District 1 office in Cheyenne.

“I-80 is essentially a 400-mile mountain pass,” McGee said. “The highest point on I-80 in the U.S. is the top of Telephone Canyon by the Lincoln memorial. The average elevation of I-80 in Wyoming is about 6,200 feet. You’re driving a 400-mile mountain pass with sustained high winds, with sustained low temperatures and all that open prairie is full of snow. High winds can grab old snow, so on a clear day we can still have visibility issues.”

Blowing snow, new or old, creates pockets of very limited visibility, he said. But at what point does snow and wind mean the road is closed? Those recommendations come from DOT maintenance crews and members of the Wyoming Highway Patrol. Both groups operate under the DOT.

The state troopers and DOT crews make their observations based on years of road experience, McGee said. They report their recommendations to a supervisor who calls for the road to open or close. Calls are routed to a dispatch center in Cheyenne to share the information.

“We want the roads to stay open,” said Ed Leyba, a Laramie maintenance technician who serves as one of the plow drivers making recommendations. “We try not to shut it down. Traffic helps keep the road clean.”

Closures are never scheduled based on weather predictions, McGee said, but reflect the conditions on the road at the time. They are based on visibility, severe icing or drifting snow.

“Can the trooper actually see to the end of their hood?“ McGee offered as a rhetorical question that helps make the call.

Closures also are based on how well vehicles cope with the conditions. Crashes or vehicles sliding off the road can initiate a closure, not just because they are in the way of traffic, but because they’re indicators of what conditions are like.

High winds can mean the interstate is closed for lightweight or high-profile vehicles, McGee said. Semitrailer blow-overs are the most common. but tourists with trailers also may not understand the risk.

“There are days when it blows, 60, 70, 80 miles an hour,” he said. “An empty house trailer or camper RV will blow right over. It’s really up to the drivers to know their vehicle’s capability.”

When closures happen, barricades are placed in front of on-ramps or troopers block the entrance to the highway. State troopers also will help travelers find a way to safely get off the highway.

Sharon and Jim Musich of Woodbury, Minnesota, found themselves stranded in Laramie during a closure of I-80 on Wednesday.

The couple was on their way to Salt Lake City and left Cheyenne that morning. They were already on I-80 east of Laramie when they saw a sign that the road had been closed.

“We couldn’t turn around. It got worse and worse,” Sharon Musich said. “Finally a state patrol (trooper) came by and told us there was a turnaround a quarter of a mile away. We followed a nice truck and got back here.”

The couple took a break at the Love’s Travel Stop in Laramie to wait out the closure.

“When we left Minnesota we were outrunning a snowstorm, and we made it until we got to here,” she said.

She added that their experience with travel in a cold climate meant that they had blankets, emergency rations and heavy clothes with them. They kept their gas tank full and let their family know where they were.

McGee also recommends that travelers download the Wyoming 511 app or map.wyoroad.info. Those mobile resources show the color-coded status of roads. As with stoplights, red lines mean “stop” and green means “go ahead.”

On some occasions, drivers will see a warning for a “rolling closure.” This means that although part of the route may be safe to travel, if there are closures near cities like Laramie or Rawlins, services like motels, parking and bathrooms may already be at capacity. In that case, the highway may be closed “upstream” from the disruption.

“We want to make sure that drivers have a safe place to wait,” McGee said.

McGee said department receives nearly constant feedback to any decision to close or open the interstate or other highways.

“We all answer the phones on a storm day or closure day,” he said.

Many of the questions come from out-of-state truckers who are unfamiliar with winter weather conditions and how variable they can be, he said.

“I get it. It’s disruptive to commerce. There is a same day/next day delivery culture out there,” McGee said. “But we will take a call from someone asking why we closed the road and then the next one will be from someone asking why we didn’t close down sooner.”

Shawn Chambers, owner of Connections Trucking Services, was one of the out-of-state truckers stranded in Laramie on Wednesday. As he looked ahead to 14-16 hours of closure, he said he made plans to stay in a motel.

The closures do have an impact on his bottom line, he said.

“Rooms, food, gas — everything costs more,” he said about having a layover. “Plus, extra fuel to stay warm.”

Chambers said he watches the weather closely but when his route takes him west, he has to take I-80.

“It all goes through Laramie,” he said.

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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #127 on: April 16, 2022, 08:59:06 PM »

Between the last snow plow (usually in late March into April) and May 1 each year, Grand Teton National Park offers bicyclists and pedestrians access to certain roads before cars and motor vehicles.

https://wyofile.com/teton-tour%ef%bf%bc/

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Each spring hundreds of cyclists enjoy one of the most scenic road networks in the country without the worry of being hit by a motorized vehicle.

Grand Teton National Park opens the Teton Park Road and Jenny Lake Loop to cyclists, hikers, roller-bladers and other non-motorized travelers for about a month in the spring.

That’s when park plow drivers clear about 18 miles of the one- and two-lane thoroughfares of snow in anticipation of their opening for motorized travel. Between the plowing and the May 1 opening to cars and trucks, the routes between Cottonwood Creek and Signal Mountain Lodge are the exclusive precinct of human-powered travel and recreation.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #128 on: April 17, 2022, 06:01:03 PM »

Damaged column at Interstate 80 and US 30 Grand Avenue interchange (Exit 316 in Laramie) is slated for repair in spring and summer 2022.

https://oilcity.news/community/wyoming-community-2/2022/04/15/bridge-repair-work-on-i-80-interchange-near-laramie-to-begin-monday/

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The bridge column was damaged in a collision with a semi truck in January. Interior lanes next to the damaged column will be closed during the project, so motorists should be prepared for potential delays, especially during peak travel hours such as morning and evening commutes, WYDOT said.

Eastbound exit ramp 316 from I-80 will remain closed for the duration of the repair.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2022, 04:31:45 PM »

Casper is considering conversion of Durbin and Wolcott one-way streets into two-way.

https://oilcity.news/community/city/2022/03/09/casper-leaders-see-value-in-converting-downtown-one-way-streets-but-40-year-high-inflation-raises-questions-about-how-to-spend-750k/

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Converting Durbin and Wolcott to two-way streets is a concept that Casper Area Metroplitan Planning Organization Supervisor Jeremy Yates said has been recommended by multiple reports over the last 30 years. The idea has again been recommended in a study recently completed by consultants hired by the Casper Area MPO.

Another article discusses funding options, but at this point, the conversion is not funded.

https://oilcity.news/community/city/2022/05/03/casper-still-seeking-money-for-750k-downtown-one-way-street-conversions-with-arpa-unavailable/
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #130 on: May 22, 2022, 04:35:07 PM »

Wildlife crossings are planned along US 189 in western Wyoming.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/05/13/wydot-game-and-fish-begin-work-on-15m-wildlife-crossing-project/

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A 17-mile wildlife crossing project in southwestern Wyoming will make a significant difference for mule deer in the region, according to an official with the Muley Fanatic Foundation.

Josh Coursey, president and CEO of the foundation, told Cowboy State Daily he was excited about this week’s start of work on the Dry Piney Wildlife Crossing Project near LaBarge.

“It’s a very expensive project at $15 million, but it’s truly the flavor of the day for how conservation in the 21st century works,” Coursey said. “The one thing about overpasses and underpasses, you can quantify their success instantaneously.”

The project includes fencing about 17 miles of U.S. Highway 189 and building nine underpasses beneath the highway.

The project should be complete by fall of 2023, Coursey said, but likely, at least a few of the underpasses will be open by the end of the year.

According to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, there are an average of 6,000 collisions between vehicles and big game in Wyoming every year, which result in $20 million to $23 million in wildlife losses and $24 million to $29 million in personal injury costs.

Eighty-five percent of the wildlife collisions in the state involve mule deer. Fifteen percent of all Wyoming crashes involve wildlife.

The Dry Piney area is the third “hottest” spot in the state for wildlife collisions, according to MFF.
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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #131 on: May 31, 2022, 12:10:23 PM »

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/05/30/massive-storm-dumps-3-feet-of-snow-in-northwest-wyo-dozens-of-travelers-rescued/

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A major spring snow storm dumped more than 3 feet of snow on northwest Wyoming over the Memorial Day weekend, stranding dozens of travelers on the Chief Joseph Highway.

Dozens of people caught in the storm that closed Wyoming Highway 296, which connects Cody to Cooke City, Montana, and the Beartooth Highway, had to be rescued by Department of Transportation personnel, according to Cody Beers, a department public relations specialist.

“There were vehicles blocked there last night and spun out on the road,” Beers told Cowboy State Daily midday Monday. “There’s at least two feet of snow up on (Dead Indian Pass) and there was a pretty good line of cars, 10 to 12 cars backed up.”

To make matters worse, Beers said a pickup with a camper in the back had spun out, blocking the road for oncoming traffic.

As of late Monday morning, however, Beers said a WYDOT loader had arrived and was clearing the road so vehicles could pass.

“He’s been digging a trail down through the road,” he said, “and I’m sure he’s going to go clear to the bottom and see if there’s other people spun out on the switchbacks on the backside of Dead Indian (Pass).”

Additionally, Beers told Cowboy State Daily a power line had come down on the highway due to the heavy, wet snow, creating dangerous sparks.  ...

Beers urged people to stay off the highways if possible.

“I’m sure people made the decision to try to get out of (the mountains), and then it only took one vehicle to get stopped, to stop the entire convoy of vehicles coming out,” he said.

Chief Joseph was only one of the highways closed due to weather this weekend. Sylvan Pass closed at 6:30 a.m. Monday, cutting off the only access to Yellowstone from the East Gate; U.S Highway 14A was closed from Lovell to Dayton over the Bighorn Mountains, and Beartooth Pass, which was scheduled to open for the season this weekend, remained closed due to the winter storm.






SM-S908U

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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #132 on: June 12, 2022, 08:18:08 PM »

Concerns with a landslide on US 14 in Dayton....

https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/in_brief/article_58497bc8-f3c2-5561-a707-e66beffe0d83.html

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Landslide near Dayton not safety concern, WyDOT says

SHERIDAN (WNE) — A spot being monitored for a potential landslide on U.S. Highway 14 east of Steamboat Point does not pose safety concerns for motorists, according to the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

“We’re not concerned about safety,” WYDOT Senior Public Relations Specialist Laura Dalles said. “It’s something we have been watching for a number of years. Right now, (workers) are up there putting in a potential temporary additional lane, so in the event that the shoulder does slide off, we have a way to divert traffic.”

Maintenance crews have been working in the right of way just east of Steamboat Point on the highway above Dayton since May 26.

This work is a preventative measure in the event the roadway gives way to a landslide. WYDOT District 4 maintenance staff and geologists have been watching at mile marker 69.8 for some time.

According to WYDOT geologist James Dahill, landslides are not unique to the stretch of U.S. 14 and happen in other areas of Wyoming. WYDOT began monitoring the site several years ago just below the highway and knew it would move progressively up the terrain toward the highway.

Dahill said the challenge with the Little Tongue River landslide is that US 14 crosses the slide at the waistline, or midpoint, of the slide. This means there is just as much slide-prone material above the road as there is below the roadway. Because of the nature of this geological structure, each year’s melting snowpack and yearly erosion results in the weak shale becoming saturated over time.

SM-S908U

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andy3175

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #133 on: June 12, 2022, 08:21:33 PM »

Concerns over traffic at a Dairy Queen on Pershing Boulevard in Cheyenne.

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/06/06/blizzard-of-chaos-cheyennes-dairy-queen-attracts-customers-and-accidents/

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It’s usually a good thing when business is booming and customers are lined-up to visit. But in Cheyenne, one local fast food restaurant is so busy that ill-will is being served on the menu along with the food.

The problem is the location. The city’s sole Dairy Queen is located on one of the most busy streets, Pershing Boulevard.

Once COVID shut the lobby down, it’s stayed closed. But it’s more popular than ever. And it’s all drive-thru traffic.

As a result, cars will line up in the left lane of the two-lane eastbound section of the street leaving just one lane open for travel. ...

Cheyenne resident Kayla Parker told Cowboy State Daily that she is “fed-up” with what she called a parking lot in front of Dairy Queen and now refuses to drive on Pershing Boulevard.

“Guaranteed that someone will get killed there,” Parker said.  “No one obeys the speed limit, people are flying down Pershing at 70mph and then a bunch of dumbasses are sitting in the middle of the street waiting for their stupid chili cheese dog.”

“I’ve called the police numerous times and get jack squat,” she continued.  “My advice is for everyone to call the police department and complain.” ....

The restaurant is a hot topic on the Cheyenne Rants and Raves Facebook page. Recently, a meme was posted reminding drivers that Pershing Boulevard was a street, not a Dairy Queen parking lot.

The post went viral and featured, like many similar posts, anger, insults, and ad hominem attacks.







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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #134 on: June 17, 2022, 10:46:45 AM »

Flooding impacted roads in and around Yellowstone National Park including the northern half of the Grand Loop Road and portions of US 89 and US 212 leading into Montana over the past weekend. Articles follow....

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/06/15/yellowstone-flooding-no-death-only-destruction/

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Yellowstone National Park received 2 to 3 inches of rain that fell on approximately 5-1/2 inches of snow. The precipitation and associated warming temperatures melted the snow and caused a major flood event in most of the northern range of Yellowstone, swelling the Yellowstone and Lamar rivers, and all of the associated tributaries, to levels not seen before in the park’s recorded history.

“These supercell storm features have hit around this country before,” said Bob Smith, Professor of Geophysics and Geology at the University of Utah. “But I have not experienced one that big around Yellowstone, and I’ve been working there for 65 years.” ...

The visible landscape of the northern part of America’s first national park is most likely changed forever, as (Yellowstone Superintendent Cam) Sholly noted that U.S. Highway 89 between the Montana communities of Mammoth and Cooke City will likely be rebuilt on a different footprint. ...

Sholly showed photos of destruction throughout the northern part of Yellowstone, pointing out where roads have been completely washed away and where the Yellowstone River has potentially changed its course permanently.

“One section in the intersection between Lamar Valley and Cooke City is another example where the road’s been completely washed away,” he said, “and so we’ll be evaluating whether or not we need to make some roadway realignments.”

Much of the damage done to the Park is not visible from the paved highway, Sholly pointed out.

“There are literally hundreds and hundreds of bridges in the back country that we’ll need to do evaluations on moving forward,” he said. “There is a lot of debris, especially in areas where the rivers ran across the roads and brought down substantial numbers of trees, which will require considerable work.”

https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/06/16/yellowstone-to-adopt-reservation-system-in-wake-of-floods/

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Yellowstone National Park will adopt a reservation or timed entry system to prevent overloading of the park’s southern loop while its northern loop remains closed due to damage caused by flooding, according to park Superintendent Cam Sholly. ...

The park was closed and more than 10,000 visitors were removed Monday as torrential rain and melting snow resulted in rivers being swollen to record levels.

The floods washed out portions of the roads in the park’s northern half and Sholly had said earlier it is unlikely the road between the Montana communities of Gardiner and Cooke City will be reopened this season. The park’s northern loop itself is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time.
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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #135 on: June 18, 2022, 01:46:42 PM »

Videos and news articles of extensive flooding especially on the northern half of the Grand Loop of Yellowstone National Park plus US 89 and US 212 traveling into Montana:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/16/weather/yellowstone-flood-satellite-before-and-after/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/16/yellowstone-flood-satellite-photos-show-devastation.html

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Re: Wyoming
« Reply #136 on: June 19, 2022, 09:13:32 PM »

Plans are underway to rebuild and reopen critical road segments in northern Yellowstone National Park. Exact timeframe for construction is being developed. Here is an article from the Casper Star Tribune.

https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/yellowstone-national-parks-north-entrance-may-reopen-to-visitors-sometime-this-summer/article_518ea57a-d4ed-5a78-85aa-e48d1bb3cf0c.html

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The work will be fast-tracked by $50 million in emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration and the diversion of a construction crew from work near Old Faithful. Instead of repairing the badly damaged old road along the Gardiner River that was gouged out in six places by the river, the workers will build an entirely new route between Gardiner and park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming. ...

The likely scenario is to build the new road between Gardiner and Mammoth, and at some point reopen the roads between Mammoth and Norris, Mammoth and Tower and over the newly rebuilt Dunraven Pass on to Canyon. Sholly said there would be a “hard stop“ at Tower with no traffic allowed into the Lamar Valley and Slough Creek. That is also the route to Cooke City and Silver Gate.

Sholly said he understood the fix would not be perfect, and adjustments could be made along the way to improve the situation. He also stressed the need for town chambers and business people to make sure visitors know about the way to access the southern loop until repairs are completed. ...
On Saturday, the Park Service announced it would begin allowing access through three entrances to the southern half of the park beginning on Wednesday. Under the current plan, cars with license plates ending in even numbers are allowed into the park on even days and cars that have license plates ending in odd numbers are allowed in on odd days. Vanity plates will all be considered odd. People who can prove they have reservations at campsites or hotels will be allowed in on the day of their reservation. If this method does not work, the plan is to go to a reservation system.

What is still uncertain is when the Northeast Entrance near Cooke City and Silver Gate will reopen. The small mountain towns’ economies rely on park visitors so residents are concerned that, without access, their summer season may be lost. Sholly said the Park Service is working on a temporary solution for visitation for the northeast side until a permanent fix can be engineered, adding that details would be forthcoming.

Cooke City and Silver Gate residents also rely on the road through the park to Gardiner for access during the winter as it is the only route opened in the park year-round. Three sections of the road were damaged by the flooding. Part of the $50 million in federal highway funds will also go to reconnecting these damaged segments.


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