The Saratoga Sun -

A battle to open HWY 70


Wyoming HWY 70, or Battle Pass, is now open.

Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) reopened Battle Pass on Thursday morning after snow removal, according to a press release.

“We encountered more snow this year than we anticipated,” said Tim McGary, district maintenance engineer in Laramie. “As always, our crews worked hard to get the pass open and ready for the season.”

Battle Pass is a seasonal closure due to huge volumes of snow during the winter months, along with another Platte Valley staple HWY 130, the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway reopened at the end of May.

Crews began working on Battle Pass after they had finished clearing the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. Crews from Saratoga worked on the eastern side of WYO 70 while crews from Baggs worked on the western side. Both crews start on their respective sides and meet in the middle, the press release said.

Crews encountered drifts as high as five to six feet, which is higher than normal. Warmer temperatures during the day combined with colder temperatures at night made snow removal difficult, the press release said. During the day, the snow would melt and turn to slush, but would re-freeze at night.

“The snow would turn rock hard at night, which made snow removal difficult when we got back the next day,” said Scott Kinniburgh, Saratoga WYDOT foreman. “We had to use dozers to break down the snow.”

Three snow blowers went down during snow removal, the press release continued, but were replaced. WYDOT encourages drivers to use caution because snow melting across the road could still turn to ice at night.


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